Hawaii Workers Say Employer-Hired Docs Unfair

April 13, 2012

As the Supreme Court of the United States continues to evaluate the legality of the health care reform act put in force two years ago by President Obama’s administration, individual states continue to have health insurance debates of their own.

One such debate is happening in the state of Hawaii, where, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser says, workers and their advocates are claiming that injured employees in the Aloha state can’t be evaluated fairly when employers and/or insurance companies are hiring the doctors who perform exams.

Specifically, the grievance goes, the system is considered unfair because it allows employers or their health insurance carriers to select doctors who will deliver independent medical exam results that allow companies to challenge workers’ claims.

On the other side of the issue, insurers and the companies that carry insurance maintain the that the system is fair, and that it prevents excessive costs or abuse of coverage.

Typically, the doctors who conduct independent exams are hired to provide opinions when there is disagreement over whether or not an injury is work-related, or whether proposed treatment is both necessary and reasonable.

Legislators in Hawaii had been debating a bill requiring workers and employers to agree on the selection of physicians in such cases, but the measure died in the state Senate last week.