Friday, May 20, 2016

OWCP Second Opinions and Their Test Results

Often when you're sent to an OWCP-directed second opinion examination, the physician will take X-Rays as part of that examination.

Normally, when you have diagnostic tests performed, they are performed by providers or facilities that are not involved in your claim and only provide a report of the results of the test. In other words, an unbiased third party.

The second opinion will include in the report their interpretation of what the X-Rays they performed indicate. Often, OWCP's physicians report that the X-Rays they took on the date of your examination show no or minimal abnormalities.

As we all know, OWCP's physicians do not always report their findings accurately and often the findings of the second opinion's X-Rays differ from every other test result you've had.

If the second opinion reports that the X-Rays show no or minimal abnormalities or their findings differ from other test results, such as an MRI, you should request from OWCP the actual X-Ray films the second opinion performed so that your physician or an independent radiologist can look at the films and determine if they see anything that differs from the second opinion.

If OWCP will not provide those actual films, you can argue that without the actual films, OWCP is taking only their physician's opinion of what those test results indicate which may or may not be accurate.

You can argue that OWCP's physician has access to medical evidence that OWCP is refusing to provide to your physician, which appears biased in this "non-adversarial" system.

You can argue that if OWCP will not provide your physician the actual films, the findings by their physician cannot be used as no one but their second opinion has seen the films and reported on them.

You can argue that your physician cannot provide a rebuttal to test results they've never seen.

You can argue that it is reasonable that your physician be provided the actual films that helped form their physician's opinion.

As your physician should provide a rebuttal to a negative second opinion, that rebuttal cannot be complete without seeing the actual films OWCP's second opinion reported on and confirming that the test results were in fact, accurately reported.

If OWCP does provide the films and your physician notices more than what the second opinion reported, your physician should include those differences in their report.

This is another way claimants can help themselves fight negative second opinions.


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