Lunch Call Podcast #14: Dr. Michael Yochelson on How the Shepherd Center Cares for the Seriously Injured Claimants  

We were happy to have Dr. Michael Yochelson join us for our latest Lunch Call.  He is the Chief Medical Officer at the Shepherd Center, one of the nation’s premier neuro-rehabilitation centers for spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions.  Dr. Yochelson has 20+ years of experience as a staff neurologist and physiatrist for multiple hospitals and Director positions for various TBI and neurological programs. Dr. Yochelson has been the CMO at Shepherd since 2017. He is also an adjunct professor for Rehabilitation Medicine at Emory School of Medicine.

Some of the topics he addressed:

1. Overview of Shepherd’s patient assessment process
2. From intake to discharge-how progress is monitored
3. Post discharge programs
4. Particular issues impacting workers’ comp claimants

Lunch call Podcast #13: Compensable or Not – Idiopathic Injuries and Beyond

A handout outlining the information in this lunch call can be viewed here.

Wes Moore, one of our own attorneys, speaks about idiopathic injuries and all those incidents that drive us crazy as a sane person (someone not in workers’ comp) might not think they are compensate.

Some of the topics he addresses that will serve as a broader discussion of compensability questions:

1. Could tying shoes lead to a trip to a panel doctor? (maybe)
2. What falls on the job are actually work related? (not all are)
3. Can speed walking on the plant floor make a difference? (yes)
4. Will certain job duties impact the outcome? (absolutely)

Wes discusses actual cases whose outcomes may baffle us but will give you insight into determining whether to accept a claim.

Lunch call Podcast #12: The Future of Workers’ Comp in Georgia and Beyond: How to Prepare

Michelle Miller joined us for our latest Lunch Call. Michelle was a partner in a litigation defense firm for several years before charting a new path as a workplace consultant. For this Lunch Call, she spoke with us about changes in the Workers’ Comp system – not just due to the pandemic – that are likely to have long term impact on costs and outcomes that go well beyond our practice area. For those who have never met Michelle, she is one of most dynamic and forward thinking voices in our community.

Some of the topics she addressed:
1. How managing claims has changed since the pandemic – both employer and adjuster perspectives
2. Why employers more than ever need to have a dedicated Workers’ Comp expert
3. Creating a culture of safety in a unstable environment (turnover and communication challenges)
4. Are we trying to add to the bottom line (profits) or just do damage control (less loss)? What does “investing in the future” really mean?

Lunch call Podcast #11: Getting What You Want From the Other Side: Negotiation Techniques that Work Outside a Mediation

Doug Witten joins us for our next Lunch Call. Doug is an experienced bilingual mediator who also has public and private practice experience both as a health care lawyer and workers’ comp attorney. For this Lunch Call, he is going to speak with us about his research and experience in the psychological aspects of negotiations. Ultimately, he will provide practical tips for your interactions with claimants, claimant’s attorneys, and even doctors when the parties are not in agreement.
Some of the topics he will address:

1. How you can minimize the likelihood a claim ends up in litigation

2. How you can reach an agreement with a claimant or claimant’s attorney when it seems like the sides are so far apart

3. How to cultivate a relationship with a doctor/expert to get what you need

4. When it is time to recognize you cannot agree and what you do next

Lunch call Podcast #10: OSHA issues in your Workers’ Comp Claims with Ben Briggs

We continue our series of calls with different perspectives on the workers’ comp system. Next, we have invited Ben Briggs, an experienced OSHA attorney and partner at Seyfarth Shaw where he serves as co-chair of the firm’s Workplace Safety & Environmental group. Although based in Atlanta, Ben has a national practice so those who have claims in other jurisdictions will also benefit from his insight. Ben’s presentation is not just for employers. What he has to say will help adjusters manage their comp claims as well.

Some of the topics he addresses:

1. A short, high-level overview of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration

2. Workplace injury and illness reporting obligations under the OSH Act

3. The interplay between workers’ compensation claims and OSH Act recordkeeping obligations

4. How accepting OSHA citations can impact the cost of workplace injuries

Lunch call Podcast #9: Theo Beck and What We can Learn from the Other Side

We are pleased to continue our series of calls with different perspectives on the workers’ comp system. Next, we have invited into the lion’s den, Theo Beck, an experienced claimant’s attorney who is both a zealous advocate for her clients but also capable of reaching resolutions with employer and TPA’s when appropriate.

Some of the topics she addresses:
1. Why an injured worker goes to a lawyer (it’s not always bad.)
2. What can employers and TPA’s do to make conflict less likely (and keep costs down.)
3. How attorneys manage expectations of their clients.
4. What are her goals in representation (it is not all about the money.)
5. What she would do to change the system.

Lunch call Podcast #8: Dr. David Sedory on Best Practices in Orthopedic Care

We are pleased to reach beyond the Atlanta area to welcome Dr. David Sedory. Dr. Sedory is a specialist in arthroscopic surgery of the hip, knee, and shoulder at Optim Healthcare in Savannah, Georgia. His experience includes service in the United States Army, where he provided traumatic orthopedic care to soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lunch call Podcast #7: What makes an Effective Questionnaire? Tips from Spine Specialist Dr. Jason Velez of Resurgens Orthopaedics

Because they are often too busy for telephone calls or in-person meetings, questionnaires are frequently used by insurance adjusters to obtain valuable information from treating physicians such as causation of injury, expectation of full duty release and projection of future medical treatment and impairment ratings. However, it can be a struggle to write an effective questionnaire that allows the doctor to provide the information needed in the manner the adjuster is seeking. We talked to spine specialist Dr. Jason Velez of Resurgens Orthopaedics about what makes an effective questionnaire from the provider’s perspective.

Lunch call Podcast #6: Telecommuting and Telemedicine

Our society has already been  moving  toward both work and medicine being performed remotely.  Present circumstances now mean there is no choice. Even when the current situation ends, there is going to be a lot more telecommuting and telemedicine.   In this call we discuss for twenty minutes what GA law has to say about these two areas.

Lunch Call Podcast #5: How GA Workers’ Comp relates to the ADA and FMLA

When an employee is hurt on the job, there is often more to consider than just the workers’ compensation claim. On this lunch call we discuss the intersection of workers’ compensation claims with possible ADA and FMLA claims and how to navigate each.

Lunch Call Podcast #4: What Judges Want

While it’s true that few cases actually go to trial, prepping every case as if it will go to trial gives you the best chance for a win at dismissal, a win at trial or the best settlement possible. Jennifer Smith and Tyler Jones go over what you need to know to prepare every case as if it’s going to trial with insights into the judges and what they have found works with specific examples of cases they’ve taken to court.

Lunch Call Podcast #3: Taking a Claimant’s statement

Jennifer Smith explains how to take an Effective Claimant Statement – for Employers and Adjusters

Lunch Call Podcast #2: The WC-240

Alissa Atkins explains everything there is to know about the WC-240

Lunch Call Podcast #1: The WC-1

In less than 20 minutes, learn how to properly complete the First Report of Injury. Intended for employers and TPAs.