Accidental brain and psychological injuries are profound and often life-altering events. In the complex landscape of recovery, MLS’s experts offer two invaluable tools:
These tools are the gatekeepers to ensuring that when managing a claim or worker injury/illness, that information is obtained from an expert to provide clear and comprehensive information, equipping the referrer with the necessary information to proceed with confidence when managing a claim or health concern.
Below, we explore in depth the purpose and necessity of both of these tools, shedding light on their pivotal role in guiding the path to medico legal practice in the aftermath of a traumatic injury or illness.
Why should you refer individuals for a psychological treatment review? The answer lies in the unique challenges presented by psychological injuries when designing treatment programs that are specifically tailored to compensable injuries. It is a crucial distinction to make, and one that will set the tone for why the psychological treatment review process is important.
As part of administering psychological treatment, both physicians and insurers need to adhere to the Clinical Framework for the Delivery of Health Services, which refers to those covered by compensable injury schemes.
As Harris et al 2015 study on the frequency and quality of mental health treatment for affective and anxiety disorders among Australian adults reveals, inadequate treatment for psychological injuries is, unfortunately, a common issue.
A referral for an independent psychological treatment review is essential when there are signs that the ingoing treatment may not meet the criteria for reasonably necessary care.
This can take a variety of shapes and forms, such as:
As such, where it becomes evident that there are disparities between the treatment and its effectiveness, it is the responsibility of either the physician or the insurer to actively seek independent psychological consultants (IPCs) for a treatment review.
Another important aspect of injury claims is a neuropsychological assessment.
The neuropsychological assessment is predominantly used as part of the diagnosis of cognitive impairments following an injury sustained in an accident or neurological illness. The assessments help create detailed profiles of cognitive strengths and weaknesses, which can become central to developing treatment plans for memory, attention, behaviour, and language issues.
As part of follow-ups, these assessments also constitute a baseline for tracking changes, gauging progress or deterioration over time. As such, there is no denying that neuropsychological assessments serve a clinical purpose and can help highlight insights about recovery, prognosis, and rehabilitation.
However, they also play a pivotal role in medico-legal cases, in providing objective clarity to help direct claim management.
When evaluating children and adults with injury, neuropsychological assessments need to cover post-concussive symptoms, estimated pre-injury cognitive abilities, current intellectual functions (among which verbal comprehension and perceptual reasoning), and their performance in specific cognitive areas (memory, attention, executive function), as well as the emotional impact on their cognition.
For adults, while the assessments are similar, they will also evaluate how the post injury cognitive functions or impairments may impact the individual’s ability to carry out everyday activities. This will also have practical implications when it comes to treatment plans and rehabilitation.
In the medico-legal context, assessments will also determine the level of permanent impairment and the individual’s eligibility for Lifetime Care and Support Scheme.
Medico Legal Specialists stand at the forefront of providing distinctive psychological and neuropsychological assessments tailored to meet the needs of those navigating both claim and non claim injury and illness in connection with psychological and brain injuries.
Your commitment to delivering the best possible outcomes to your clients begins with access to the right resources and professionals. Reach out to Medico Legal Specialists today.