Hawaii Critics Say Employer-Picked Doctors Unfair

April 11, 2012

Workers’ advocates claim injured Hawaii employees can’t get fair evaluations from doctors hired by employers or insurers.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday critics say the system is unfair by allowing employers or their insurance carriers to shop around for doctors to get favorable independent medical examination to challenge claims.

Employers, insurance carriers and others say the system is fair and guards against abuse and excessive costs.

Doctors who conduct independent medical examinations are typically hired when there are disputes over whether an injury is work-related or if treatment is reasonable and necessary.

State lawmakers had been debating a bill that would have required employees and employers to agree on the selection of those physicians in workers’ compensation cases. But the measure died in the Senate last week.

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