...because of a mistake I made, near as I can make out.
I've been a medical marijuana patient for several years, and usually I have Workman's Comp send me a copy of the year's treatment/doctor visit records to take to "Dr. Green" so he can prove that I'm actually getting real treatment for a real sure-nuff ailment, per Prop. 215.
This year, I wasn't quite sure the records would arrive at my house in time, so I asked the claims adjuster to send them directly to "Dr. Green"."
"Are you changing physicians?" she asked. Well, I wasn't, and said so.
"Are you seeing him on a non-industrial basis?" she asked.
Well, kind of. In a manner of speaking....or so it seemed to me at the time. At any rate, "non-industrial basis" seemed to me to be the magic words to pry the records out of her and get them expeditiously into "Dr. Green's" hands. So I said Yes.
Big mistake. Because six weeks ago she sent me a letter saying:
... I understand that you are pursuing treatment with a pain management physician for a non-industrial condition or symptoms. Based on this, it would appear that treatment with that physician would encompass the body parts related to this industrial injury ...
As a result, I would like to offer $10,000 to resolve your future medical Award by a Compromise and Release Settlement. ...
(This would be on top of the money left to be paid out on my Permanent Disability Award.)
Lastly, I wanted to inform you that, as a benefited employee, you may be eligible for treatment for this industrial injury under your group health insurance.
I sent a copy of this letter to "Dr. Green", who wrote to her stating exactly why I'd had my records sent to her, and that he was not a pain management specialist and not my treating physician. The fact that he mentioned medical cannabis seems not to be a problem: the claims adjuster has never mentioned it again, and "Dr. Green" has successfully defended himself and a number of his patients in court.
All right now, can I fix this?
- I'm not satisfied with the treatment I've been getting under Workman's Comp; I've changed physicians once already.
- Is there any point in contacting the claims adjuster and telling her that I made a mistake by invoking the phrase "non-industrial basis"? Because, after all, the work injury is the only reason I got a medical cannabis card in the first place.
- I don't have a lawyer and haven't had much luck with Legal Aid (out here, they just refer you to lawyers; they don't sit down and talk things over with you). How can I get help prying a decent amount of money out of Workman's Comp without eating up my tiny savings?
Thanks in advance, everybody - I feel better already.