Independent medical reviewers are indispensable to the disability determination process

August 03, 2017

To ensure the right decision is made for individuals going through a disability determination, benefits agencies and organizations should utilize medical professionals and specialists to achieve well-informed conclusions, according to a UMass Medical School disability determination expert.

The benefits of using independent disability reviewers are vast for agencies and organizations involved in evaluating and providing disability benefits, advises Peter C. Lindblad, MD, medical director of UMass Medical School’s  Disability Evaluation Services.

The utilization of specialists in the field provides “another set of eyes on the information in the chart,” and has the potential to provide more insights on what is going on with the individual case being reviewed, such as determining disability, and deciding the best plan of action regarding benefits, says Dr. Lindblad, also an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine.

Many organizations have policies in place that require the use of additional reviewers outside of their own system. Lindblad recommends extensive research before deciding to use the services of an outside review team to ensure they are the right fit.  

“In order to hire a review team, you really need to know: What is the manpower on board, are they board certified, and what experience they have,” says Lindblad.

Knowing the size of the team plus their credentials and experience are important factors in choosing which team meets the needs and can successfully fulfill any and all requirements set forth by an organization.

UMass Medical School employs both physicians and nurses with multiple years of experience specializing in this type of disability determination work, Lindblad says. This highly experienced staff can fulfill that outside or additional reviewer role and is adept at meeting organization requirements and timeframes.

These clinicians are able to do municipal determinations and work with companies across the country to review and determine disability, according to Lindblad. With their knowledge and experience, UMass Medical School staff can conduct disability determinations efficiently and professionally. 

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