Friday, October 11, 2013

The New Normal

Over at New York Personal Injury Law Blog as part of his series of posts about insurance company medical exams, Eric Turkewitz has a great posts on how insurance companies and not insurance company doctors decide what a normal range of motion is.

He provides part of a transcript evidencing this sad fact, which we now quote to a lesser extent (the emphasis is his):

Q:  So there should be no difference in the normal range of motion for an individual who’s 26 and  another one  who’s 34?

 A:  Actually, that’s not true.  This examination was done for a company that uses a different standard for range  of  motion  testing.

Q: Don’t you use your own opinions as to what normal range of motion  is?

 A:  I do, but if I’m employed by them to do an examination, I have  to  use  their  standards.

Q:  So you then will take a standard that you know isn’t accurate, and use it in a medical-legal context?

 A:  No.

Q:  Is that your testimony?

A:     No.     That’s not my testimony.   At   the end of my report, all of these   reports, I  state clearly that the range of motion testing is based on the American Academy of Orthopedic  Surgeon’s   standards,   but  there  are differences  with  body  habitus,  with  age, with activities. I state that clearly, so it’s a very subjective exam, and the 60 degrees here conforms to what this carrier says is normal. That’s not what I think is normal.

Q:    And you used it anyway?

A:   I   did.

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