What you need to know about evidence based medicine and why it must be opposed in the Michigan workers’ compensation system.
Rules implementing evidence based medicine were passed around in 2014. It was very controversial because of how these changes would affect medical treatment under workers’ compensation. Decision making would be taken away from doctors and given to bureaucrats in Lansing.
Calling insurance company guidelines “evidence based medicine” is laughable. My doctor friends always remind me that all medicine is evidence based. It is like calling a sporting rifle an “assault weapon” just because it sounds better for your agenda.
It is hard to imagine why evidence based medicine is needed considering medical payments are some of the lowest in the nation and the pure premium rate has dropped 32.7% since 2011. This has already saved employers $327 million dollars. Here are some more reasons why evidence based medicine should be opposed.
1. Limits choice of doctor
Doctors will not get paid unless they adhere to specific guidelines that few people truly understand. The exception process will be difficult and require doctors to spend more time on paperwork than treating patients. Many doctors will simply refuse to see patients under workers’ compensation and this will limit choice.
2. Shifts burden to taxpayers
People don’t simply go away because an insurance company guideline says they are better. The cost of medical care will be shifted to taxpayers through programs like Medicaid and Medicare. Health insurance costs will also go up for everyone.
3. Death panels are coming
Bureaucrats in Lansing will be making decisions about medical care. Doctors will have little say and their hands will be tied. This will cause real suffering for people who need medical treatment. I hope the State of Michigan buys a really big medical malpractice insurance policy.
4. Evidence based medicine discriminates
Medical studies expensive and certain population segments have been historically under researched. Doctors should be free to treat patients as individuals based upon clinical experience and knowledge. Government stay out of the doctor’s office!
5. Expect more litigation costs
Michigan workers’ compensation law is supposed to err on the side of approving not denying benefits. It was designed as social and remedial legislation. This was the grand bargain established 100 years ago when people gave up their right to a civil trial. Evidence based medicine cannot be implemented with just a rule change and it will be challenged. Claim disputes will also go up sharply and this will lead to more litigation costs.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.
32.7% drop in workers’ compensation premiums
Photos courtesy of Creative Commons, by jfcherry.