Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Social Security Reviewing Doctors guilty of Fraud?

  The 2 highest earning state civil service employees working in San Diego County made hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses last year reviewing Social Security disability claims.  The 2 doctors in question are both psychiatrists.  Dr. Robert Paxton made $440,068 and Dr. Kelly Loomis made $368,917.   These doctors earned this money from the Social Security Administration by allegedly reviewing the medical records of disability applicants and rendering opinions as to the claimants mental functional capacity.  According to the San Diego Union Tribune, Watchdog article, Dr. Paxton would have spent less than 9 minutes to review a claimant's medical records, formulate and then author his opinions.  This assumes that he took only 1 week of vacation and observed normal state holidays and worked 10 hour days with no breaks.  To earn $440,068 during calendar year 2010 he would have had to review more than 15,000 cases which equates to 70 cases per day.  If he only worked 8 hours a day he would have spent less than 7 minutes per case.  Obviously, it is impossible to review the extensive medical records that many of the claimants have often totaling more than a hundred pages and make conclusions in such a brief amount of time.  It is evident that the reviews were either not done, were inadequately done, or the opinions of other doctors were simply "rubber stamped" by these doctors.

     For those of us who practice in this field of law we see first hand the impact that these reviewing physicians have on our client's lives.  A denial of a claim for social security disability benefits is devastating for someone who is unable to work as a result of a disability.  The Social Security Administration relies heavily on the opinions from it's reviewing physicians.  For these doctors to abuse the system for their own financial gain while running roughshod  over the rights of the disabled is nothing but outrageous.  Yet Social Security when presented with these facts simply downplayed these doctors as hard working and helping to clear out the backlog of cases. For more information contact http://www.delellis.com/.

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