Letter To WCB From Psychiatrists

Letter To WCB From Psychiatrists

Daniel Kuhn M.D., P.C.
Integrative Neuropsychiatric Services

200 W. 57th Street
Suite 1205
New York, NY 10019

Daniel Kuhn M.D., Psychiatrist, Diplomat of the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry
Telephone:  (212) 315-1755
Fax:  (212) 333-4209

11.03.2020

To:
New York State
Workers’ Compensation Board
OFFICE OF THE CHAIR
328 State Street
Schenectady, New York 12305

ATTN: Chair Clarissa Rodriguez

We are psychiatrists treating injured workers who have psychiatric claims under the NYS Workers’ Compensation system.  New patients do not have coverage and are only supposed to use their Workers’ Compensation insurance for their injuries. 

Many of these patients have suffered traumatic brain injuries and may be dealing with epilepsy, the aftereffects of severe concussion, and debilitating depression. They require immediate pharmacologic treatment.

There is no formulary for psychiatric drugs.  The carriers routinely state that even standard psychiatric medications are non-formulary and not authorized.  Additionally, if a medication dosage is changed, even reduced, the carriers then view it as "new" and deny coverage, interrupting vital medical treatment.  Patients are then left without any of the medication for undetermined amounts of time, which could result in serious legal and ethical consequences.  

The portal system is not working.  It takes too much of our time, takes too long for a response and even when granted the carriers will still sometimes not authorize.  Extended coverage for medications is routinely denied forcing us to file the same paperwork in the portal every month, as if psychiatric treatments can simply be started and stopped without consequences. Who is assumed responsible for clinical complications resulting from abruptly stopping necessary medications?

We have been told that the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board has a process in place to dispense medications for patients whose case is controverted until their case is established.  We request that the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board provides us with a list of pharmacies that do this. 

Is there a written process that describes how any pharmacy can accomplish this task which we can forward to a patient’s pharmacy of choice?  

Above all, please describe the options available to patients who are in this situation so that they may have access to medications.  The current system is unsustainable, and the most injured patients are paying the highest price.

Signed,

Daniel Kuhn, MD
kuhncenter@gmail.com

Christina Vaglica, MD
chrissy206@aol.com

Azim Etemadi, MD
Etemadidoctor@yahoo.com

Paul Ladopoulos, MD
PaulLadopoulos@aol.com

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