Liberty Medical Clinic Complaint - Doctor's Staff Refuses to Send Paperwork for Disability Claim

Review by MG1973 on 2010-07-17
LIBERTY, MISSOURI -- Recently my girlfriend was treated by her doctor for severe anxiety. He indicated to her that she was not to go back to work until after consulting with a specialist. The FMLA paperwork was sent to his office and properly processed. After this, my girlfriend's company requested further documentation to process her short-term disability request. Without this further documentation, she would not be paid for any of the time off that the doctor recommended.

The request for further information arrived at Liberty Medical Clinic on Thursday. My friend spoke with her company on that day to find out exactly what was required of Liberty Medical Clinic and discovered that they were simply requesting a copy of the doctor's notes that were already in her flie to be faxed to the company. The release for information had already been signed. All the nurse or office staff needed to do is make the copies and send the fax.

The office staff did not do this on Thursday, so on Friday afternoon, my girlfriend called to find out what needed to be done and was given an abrupt and rude response from a substitute nurse. On Monday, the same thing happened when she called once more. On Tuesday, upon recommendation by other medical personel, she called to speak with the office manager, who hung up on her while she was requesting the information. She called back only to be hung up on multiple times. As I am a social worker, I offered to call the office and find out what could be done. The office had already been advised that if the paperwork was not faxed by that afternoon, my friend would not be paid for her short-term disabiity.

I called and introduced myself only to be hung up on. Figuring this was a mistake, I called again. Not only did the office staff hang up on me multiple times, they were downright rude to me also.

Today, after this mistreatment by the clinic's staff, my friend received a registered letter, with the signature of only the office manager, not her doctor, indicating that she has been dropped from the care of a doctor whom she has been seeing (and paying) for years. Not only that, but my friend also has not received any pay for the time that she has been out of work because of the negligence of Liberty Medical Clinic.
Comments:7 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-07-18
Posted by Weedwhacked on 2010-07-17:
Unfortunately, these insurance companies don't like paying for anxiety issues as they aren't seen as real claims by them. If Liberty is the clinic then there should be no reason to not send the forms unless they're in an agreement with the insurance company.
Posted by nanomarket on 2010-07-17:
The clinic clearly does not believe that your girlfriend's anxiety qualifies her for disability compensation. I know people with far more debilitating conditions(e.g., kidney failures and heart conditions)who could not get disability pay.
Posted by Sheriffs Uncle on 2010-07-17:
And I have a sibling that did get short-term disability pay for depression and anxiety. It's not as simple as just naming a condition. Don't make it sound as if a kidney or heart condition is real, and anxiety is not. The brain is an organ too, and if it is diseased, or not functioning properly, a person can become disabled. That's where the doctor comes in to play. He/She determines whether you can continue to work, or whether you need time off. Your claim can also be hindered depending on how hard your employer fights it.
Posted by Sheriffs Uncle on 2010-07-17:
We're not living in the 50's again. But comments like these make it sound as if people with mental illness aren't deserving. It depends on so many things, mostly the severity of the situation.
Posted by Pepper on 2010-07-17:
i would recommend contacting a lawyer then
Posted by Sheriffs Uncle on 2010-07-17:
There certainly is a huge disparity in office staffs when it comes to doctors. Some are so easy to deal with, others not so easy. I wonder if your girlfriend's doctor didn't like his diagnosis being "questioned". In other words, he thought if he said she needed time off, that should be good enough. The insurance company apparently wanted more details. Hard to say based on the info you've given who is making this so difficult. As Pepper says, it wouldn't hurt to contact a lawyer that specializes in this. You may end up needing them.
Posted by DCGirl on 2010-07-18:
I think that there may be more to this than has been posted here.

If the clinic operates like my doctor's office, they have an outside service that comes in on a set schedule to make copies of paperwork from their files to submit with insurance forms, and they do not make exceptions to that schedule. Calling multiple times will not change the schedule and will start to tick people off, which may have happened here.

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