The law firm of Frankel & Newfield was pleased to show our support for the dental community by participating in this year’s GLIDM. Dentists, orthodontists, periodontists, oral surgeons, dental hygienists, dental practice administrators and others in the dental professional gathered at the Huntington Hilton for a day developed to the arts and science of dentistry. During the evening session on April 21, Justin Frankel presented a program on disability insurance geared to the specific needs of dentists.
Many of Frankel & Newfield’s disability insurance clients are dentists, and the firm is experienced with the special challenges faced by dentists. We have seen a multitude of issues during the claim process, and have observed some interesting trends with regard to insurance company claim practices.
Several members of the audience were in the process of considering whether or not to file a claim. They were particularly interested in the issues presented by primary care physicians who, while trying to be helpful, actually harm their patient’s claim. In-house insurance company physicians call the primary care physician and attempt to elicit information on the claim during what appears to be a friendly, colleague-to-colleague telephone call. The phone call is anything but friendly. Their real goal is to find information that can be used to delay or eventually deny a claim.
Justin Frankel warned audience members that at no time should their primary care physician have direct contact with the insurance company physician. Any medical records that the physician sends to any representative of a disability insurance company should be carefully reviewed by a professional with experience with disability claims. Certain language describing not just the disability, but the impact that the disability has on the dentist’s ability to practice, needs to be included in the medical records.
This is but one of the ways that disability claims can easily become ensnared in a tangle that benefits the insurance company and not the policyholder.
If you are a dentist and have questions about your disability insurance policy or your claim, call our office today. Let experienced disability insurance lawyers who understand the special challenges you face help you.