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Second Opinion on Workers' Comp System

June 01, 2003

"Workers' Comp Crisis Worsens" (May 25) was on point. As a workers' compensation doctor for over 25 years I have an answer to the problem.

It can be found in two words: second opinion.

Right now, applicant lawyers (those who represent the worker) orchestrate a scenario that results in unending chiropractic treatment; unending physical therapy; "pain management," a new cottage industry; discograms; surgery with questionable indications; unending temporary disability; multiple MRI, CAT and other studies; Vicodin usage, creating a whole new generation of addicts; and persistent subjective complaints with no objective findings to substantiate them.

Applicant physicians can say what they want; e.g., "Water runs uphill." The judge reads the report (they are mostly applicant-oriented) and says, "Well, if Dr. X says so, it has to be true." By requiring a second opinion, I predict that the medical costs would tumble.

If reforms are instituted, it will represent a decline in my income, but perhaps this would be for the greater good.

Michael D. Rosco MD

Ventura

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