Hi, my name is Attorney Jim Mangraviti. I’m here with Attorney Steve Babitsky from SEAK, and we’re going to talk briefly today about how physicians can perform disability reviews for insurance companies.
Steve, what is the role of the physician regarding reviewing disability claims?
Steve Babitsky: Physicians are asked to review claims by insurance companies and IROs and what they generally do is they receive files electronically from these companies. And they’re asked to answer specific questions based on the contract provided by the company as to whether the person is disabled, impaired, whether they can do their last job, whether they can do any job or any different work.
Jim Mangraviti: And what are insurance companies looking for in doctors that perform these reviews?
Steve Babitsky: Well, they’re looking for several things. The first thing, as always, is availability and accessibility. They want doctors who are available to do these reviews, who are accessible. They’re also looking for doctors that can do this work in a timely fashion because a lot of this work is time sensitive. It has to be done within 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours.
They want high quality work. They want physicians who are good clinicians, and it’s crucially important that they’re able to write an excellent report because, generally speaking, there’s no testimony so the report is crucial to their success. So if they’re available, they’re accessible, they can turn the work around on time, and they can write a great report, that’s what they’re looking for.
Jim Mangraviti: And what are some of the advantages to a doctor to doing disability reviews for insurance companies?
Steve Babitsky: Well, there are four main advantages. We can look at a slide if you’d like. First and foremost, the work can be done from home nights and weekends. This is done like 95% electronically. The insurance companies, the IROs will send you files electronically. You can do the work any time you want. You can do it during the day, at night, weekends, whatever. And you can do it at your home office.
The stakes are pretty high in these cases. On disability reviews we’re looking at professionals that are filing for disability. So these may be doctors, lawyers, dentists, accountants, and so forth. These people, if they qualify for disability benefits, could get up to $150,000 to $200,000 dollars a year tax-free. So the stakes are high and, therefore, the insurance companies and the clients are willing to invest in excellent work and excellent reports.
This can also lead to full-time employment. Sometimes you start out as a part-timer working for an insurance or an IRO. They love your work. We’ve seen many examples of them, after a person does some of this work for them part-time, they’ve tried to bring them on in-house and hire them full-time.
And, of course, the last advantage is this is not an adversary proceeding as medical-legal work or other expert witness work would be as you do not examine anybody; there’s no physician or patient relationship. And, therefore, you very rarely, if ever, have to testify in court.
Jim Mangraviti: And how much money can a doctor make doing reviews?
Steve Babitsky: Doctors can make an excellent income. They can be paid by the hour, $100 up to $250-$300 an hour. They can do a lot of work in a short amount of time. So we have had doctors who have taken our disability file review course that tell us after taking the course that they are making 150,000 or $200,000 a year.
Jim Mangraviti: Steve, what resources does SEAK offer for doctors who want to supplement their income by doing disability reviews for insurance companies and IROs?
Steve Babitsky: We have three main things, Jim. The first is we have a course called “How to start, run, and build a successful disability file review practice.” And that’s a two day course. We run that once a year. That has proven to be very, very helpful for doctors. The doctors who attend that course get up and running, and within weeks after attending the course, they can have an active practice going.
The second resource is the national directory, The National Directory of Medical File Review Consultants, www.FileReviewConsultants.com. What happens is physicians put their name in the directory, they pay a fee for the year, and this directory is sent out across the country to companies that ask for file reviews. It’s also on the web.
And the third thing we do, sometimes physicians don’t want to wait for the course; they get in the directory and have to get up to speed right away. They ask for help, and what we do is we work with them one-on-one to help them get up and running in file review practice. So we give them a handbook. We actually give them a handbook from the course. We then have a series of questions and exercises that we perform with them.
We give them a list of companies that are available and looking for physicians, and, again, within a month or two they’re up and running and can have a very successful practice.
Jim Mangraviti: Thank you.