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Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

Do You Need That MRI Or Is It To Make Your Doctor More Money?

Posted by John Kuhnlein | Nov 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

A recent harrowing case out of Michigan has cast the spotlight on a truly awful medical practice: doctors ordering unnecessary medical tests and procedures to make more money for themselves. A patient in Dearborn, Michigan sued her doctor,Yassar Awaad, alleging that he had falsely

Mug Shot?

diagnosed her as having epilepsy.  A jury agreed and ordered Dr. Awaad to pay Mariah Martinez 2.8 million dollars. It turns out that Dr. Awaad has been diagnosing many, many people as having epilepsy so that he could make more money treating them.

A Rare Occurrence?

Obviously, this is an ugly story. One hopes that this is rare. But, the way in which insurance companies compensate doctors all but encourage this sort of behavior.  Doctors get paid for the services they provide, not the outcomes they achieve. The more a doctor does, such as ordering tests and performing procedures, the more money she makes. Doctors have to be at least tempted to do more than is required given this incentive.

Hospitals Are No Help

You cannot count on the hospitals where doctors work to protect you. In Dr. Awaad's case, his salary kept going up as he billed for more and more procedures. The hospital where Dr. Awaad worked paid him a six-figure bonus for keeping his bills high, Everybody wins, seemingly, except for the poor

Here's What's Up Doc

person needlessly stuck in the MRI machine.

Patients Are In No Position To Disagree

Patients are in a poor position to argue about what treatment they need. Those seeking help generally do not have medical training, so they cannot counter what their doctors suggest.  Since patients are generally only responsible for copays, they are not that motivated to avoid big expenses such as MRIs.  We are pretty much at the mercy of those folks in white lab coats.

No Easy Answer

There is no simple solution to this problem. You can question your doctor about the tests and procedures she is performing. But, that is about the extent of it.  Unlike doctors, patients have no financial motives when it comes to medical care.

Questions To Ask

Never skip any treatment your doctor has prescribed based on a mere suspicion that the treatment may not be required. But, knowing that doctors can

Was That Good For You?

be unscrupulous can make you a more informed patient. The next time your doctor orders an MRI or CT-Scan, you might ask if he has any financial interest in the company that would perform the tests. Inquire as to whether anyone is paying him a bonus based on the number of tests he orders.  Find out if he thinks the test is still necessary if you go to a facility that the doctor does not own or otherwise profit from.

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.


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