Physician advisors play a vital role in disability medical reviews, according to UMass Medical School expert

July 31, 2017

Access to a wide variety of professionals in different specialties is imperative for independent disability reviewers when making a determination, according to the disability determination medical director at UMass Medical School.

UMass Medical School is home to physicians across many different specialties with decades of experience in disability determinations. These physicians have the ability to take their first-hand experience in the specialty and translate it to determine whether or not a particular individual should be considered disabled, and what it means for the patient and for the agency or organization providing disability benefits if they are disabled.

Peter C. Lindblad, MD, medical director of UMass Medical School’s Disability Evaluation Services, “[feels] that it is very important [to have access to] these various subspecialists, both to curbside and ask questions to, or to actually do [the medical] review.”

Subspecialties available at UMass Medical School include occupational medicine, cardiology, nephrology, and neurology, among others. With a wide variety of professionals in different fields at hand, decisions can be made through consultations and advice by more than one individual – which may be important when making certain determinations.

Determining the disability involves several different elements. First, to determine duration in a disability applicant, the specialized physician reviews the patient’s chart, and, with the resources available at UMass Medical School, is able to refer to professionals in other specialties to make an educated and well-rounded decision. They then “look at what the complaints are, what the physical findings are, and then make a determination of how long [the disability may] last,” explains Dr. Lindbald, who is also an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine. 

Disabilities come in many shapes and forms, and can require experts in more than one field. They can last durations of months or years, be permanent, or they can even be waived, all depending on what the disability claim is, and it is up to the independent disability reviewer to decide the action going forward.

With the resources and knowledge provided by experts in different specialties and subspecialties, UMass Medical School disability reviewers can more confidently make the right decision for all parties involved.

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