Objective: To identify common attributes of Federal workers compensation cases referred to Navy physicians for medical opinions and to determine the impact of the review on the final case decision. Methods: Retrospective case study and descriptive analysis of 258 opinion letters written by physicians on referred cases from 2006 to 2010. Results: Navy physician opinions were considered in the outcome in some of the cases, and there was a statistically significant difference between the claim acceptance rate in the study population and the total population. Worker age was correlated with certain claim types. Conclusions: There is preliminary evidence that the opinion letters of Navy physicians influenced case decisions. Because of the selection bias in how the cases came to the study population, a prospective cohort study is warranted to establish whether this conclusion and the other results noted are valid.
Original Publication Citation
Hammett, M. E., Jankosky, C., Muller, J., Hughes, E., & Litow, F. (2012). Physician review of workers' compensation case files: Can it affect decision outcomes? Military Medicine, 177(1), 17-22. doi:10.7205/milmed-d-11-00262
Hammett, Mark E.; Jankosky, Christopher; Muller, John; Hughes, Elizabeth; and Litow, Francesca, "Physician Review of Workers' Compensation Case Files: Can It Affect Decision Outcomes?" (2012). Community & Environmental Health Faculty Publications. 55.