Jan 142017

By Gerald

Many people wonder as to why workers are forced back to work on the opinion of a “Board” doctor as opposed to a workers primary care doctor which happens all the time. Here is the answer. WCB Medical services provided all doctors with what were called medical duration guides which quite simply was the average length of time it should take for a full recovery from a work related accident. WCB Medical Advisors who never examine a worker would use these guides to determine when the worker should make a full recovery. As any one who is familiar with medicine knows, some people recover much earlier than others and some may recover much later or not at all. A WCB Medical Advisor would be asked by the Case Manager if the worker has recovered from an accident or illness and the WCB Medical Advisor would go to the duration guides and determine that the worker should have fully recovered despite the primary care doctor who has a duty of care to the worker and will not sign the WCB form indicating the worker can return to work. The worker is told that the WCB Medical Advisor has determined that the worker has recovered and they must return to work or have their benefits terminated. This evidently happened to Patrick Clayton who injured his knee and was sent back to work based on medical duration guides.

The Alberta WCB redesigned their web site and in doing so like everything else that could incriminate them decided to eliminate any trace of the medical  duration guidelines. I have searched for these guides and unless I have missed them, they are gone which is a good thing for workers now but evidently was not a good thing for workers who were forced to return to work and re-injured themselves more severely than the original injury.

PCI Ratings

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Jan 072017

By Gerald

I have stated on many occasions that the primary reason why the system does not work is because of the imbeciles that are in total control of the system. For example: PCI ratings are considered to be an important part of providing compensation to workers, yet the Alberta WCB are the only WCB in Canada that uses two different impairment guides that cannot be used interchangeably when assessing PCI ratings. In other words if a WCB Medical Consultant defers to the AMA Guides because the Alberta Guides are silent or deficient which they usually are, the PCI ratings from the AMA Guides have to be converted to a higher PCI rating than what is found in the AMA Guides.

The reason for this is because the Alberta Guides reference their PCI ratings to the impact an impairment rating would have on a worker performing activities outside of the work environment as opposed to the AMA Guides which is referenced to the difficulties a worker would have performing simple basic activities of daily living and excludes personal and social activities. Having said that, common sense and logic would determine that if the AMA Guides provided for example a 10% PCI rating which is referenced to simple basic activities of daily living, then the PCI rating obtained form the AMA Guides has to be converted to a higher rating when referenced to activities outside of the work place. Obviously it is far less difficult to perform simple basic activities of daily living (defecating, urinating etc.) than it is to perform activities outside of the workplace such as playing baseball, hockey, football, mountain climbing, etc. For example: a 3% PCI rating is assessed for chronic pain which is referenced to simple basic activities of daily living in the AMA Guides which when referenced to the Alberta Guides would have to be significantly higher than 3% PCI because of the fact that playing hockey, baseball, football and mountain climbing would be far more difficult to perform because of pain and would have a greater impact than the performance of simple basic activities of daily living. Question is, why would any one continue to use the antiquated Alberta Guides when the AMA Guides are the gold standard used by every one else in the world when determining impairment?