I learned something new today – there is a huge difference in quality between MRI facilities. I was at an Industrial Commission of Arizona hearing where one of my favorite doctors, Brad Sorosky, was testifying. Dr. Sorosky has a great way of explaining things in ways that normal non-doctors can understand. The carrier in this case had agreed to pay for an updated MRI since the previous one was of poor quality. Knowing that carriers always try to send injured workers to the cheapest facility possible, I asked Dr. Sorosky if there was a difference in quality between one facility and another. He said that there definitely was and gave a perfect analogy: he explained that it is the difference between taking a picture on your cell phone and taking a picture with a high quality Nikon camera. He recommended any facility that has 3T technology (whatever that is…)
I don’t know about you, but if I’ve suffered an on-the-job back injury and the decision whether or not to do surgery depends on an MRI, I want the picture taken with the highest quality diagnostic equipment available, not the one that’s going to save the insurance carrier a couple hundred bucks.
Remember that in Arizona workers comp, unless your Employer is self-insured, you have the right to direct your own medical care. I personally think that that extends to where diagnostic studies are performed. The carrier is required to pay for treatment under the Industrial Commission Fee Schedule. You want the best care possible. Always ask your doctor which facility they prefer for their diagnostic imaging and insist on getting the MRI, CT, EMG, or whatever at that facility.
Chad T. Snow is an Arizona Workers (workmans) compensation attorney with offices in Phoenix and Tucson. He has represented thousands of injured workers before the Industrial Commission and Court of Appeals. He can be reached at his website, Snow, Carpio, and Weekley, or at (602) 532-0700 and (520) 647-9000.