Every car accident causes pain and difficulty for everyone involved. For starters, your vehicle is damaged making it impossible to get to work, and you have pain and injuries. In general, most accident victims will contact their family PCP or visit the Emergency Room. While the Emergency Room is always the first choice after any serious collision, it is not as easy to get treatment from your family PCP.
Why was I turned down by my Family PCP after a Car Wreck?
There are several explanations as to why your Family PCP will not generally treat automobile accident injuries. To begin, your family PCP commonly accepts healthcare insurance and/or cash for payment. That is to say, your family PCP does not have the ability to accept alternative forms of insurance. Your Family PCP understands how to provide treatment and collect payment using standard healthcare insurance.
On the other hand, automobile accidents do not commonly rely on Medicare, Medicaid or other healthcare options. Automobile accidents require third-party billing, which includes Med Pay, PIP, Automobile Insurance and Letters of Protection from an attorney. It is not always easy to understand the differences, but the billing is oftentimes the reason why your Family PCP cannot treat your car collision injuries.
Again, every Physician must develop a method of collecting payment for their services. Many personal injury cases will require an attorney for payment, and can take months if not years to settle. Of course, this means that the Doctor will provide treatment today knowing that they will not be paid until far into the future. This is one of many reasons why most Family Doctors will avoid personal injury claims.
Car Accident Medical Billing
As mentioned, car accident billing is very different than using Medicaid or Medicare. Generally speaking, most car accident clinics will accept auto insurance billing options. Third party billing refers to a variety of payment options after a car, slip and fall or motorcycle accident. A list of commonly accepted accident billing options includes: Personal Injury Protection, Automobile Insurances, Med Pay and/or Letters of Protection from an attorney.
For this reason, most Family Doctors are not able to process the billing required for automobile collisions. Moreover, your healthcare coverage could be denied by the if the insurance company finds out that your injuries are due to a collision. This is why you should always ask if the Injury Clinic accepts third party billing before accepting any medical care. The treating Clinic either will either accept third party billing or you need to find a new Doctor.
Documentation and Representation after a Car Wreck
Another important reason why your Family PCP will decline auto accident treatment is due to the documentation required. A personal injury case will require specific documentation to support the claim. Moreover, the insurance company may request this documentation during the treatment process to help evaluate the injury claim. Most Family Doctors are not prepared to handle the communication needed for a successful personal injury claim.
Lastly, we have to mention one last reason why your family PCP will struggle with car wreck injuries. Many personal injury cases will end up in court, which may require the Doctor to represent your injuries and treatment. Again, most family Doctors are not willing to take a day off work and cancel other patients to protect your case in court. Conversely, an accident Doctor is willing to protect your claim in court and understand the documentation required for a successful personal injury claim.
All that being said, you should always inform your family PCP if you are involved in any car, semi-truck or motorcycle accident. In many cases, your Family Doctor has a long history of your past medical needs, which may help in your treatment and recovery. For example, pre-existing injuries or conditions could influence the treatment provided by your accident Physician. In addition, your accident Doctor may benefit from communicating with your Family PCP.
Common questions when visiting your Family PCP after a Car Wreck
Question: What if I already went to my Family PCP after my automobile accident?
Answer: In general, you are responsible for any medical treatment offered after an automobile, semi-truck or bus wreck. This is why you should always ask if an Injury Clinic accepts third party billing before accepting treatment. However, you can still get treatment from a Medical Doctor after any collision, who accepts third party billing and understands the documentation needed.
Question: Should I notify my Family Doctor about my car wreck?
Answer: Yes, your Family PCP has a history of previous conditions, past treatment and possible allergies to medication. While your Family Doctor cannot treat your injuries, any information can only help in your new collision Doctor. Moreover, you may also avoid possible medication allergies and accelerate recovery time.
Question: How to handle pre-existing conditions after my collision?
Answer: Again, you should provide any past medical injuries, conditions and treatment to your new accident Physician. Additionally, your team of Doctors will provide a comprehensive treatment plan based on your injuries and the information they receive. As a general rule, you can never have enough documentation after any auto collision.
Question: Do I need my Family PCP to prescribe medication after my accident?
Answer: No, any qualified medical Physician can prescribe medication after an automobile accident. In fact, chances are high that your Family Physician will be unable to prescribe medication after a car wreck. As mentioned, your Family PCP generally cannot accept automobile insurance, and is therefore limited in prescribing medication.
Question: Do I need to see my Family PCP for an X-Ray or MRI after my car wreck?
Answer: Absolutely not, and most likely you will be told to go see a Doctor who treats car accident injuries. Any good injury Clinic will provide a complete suite of diagnostic imaging. Many back, neck and shoulder injuries will require an X-Ray, MRI or other diagnostic imaging to properly diagnose. It is always a good idea to ask if your accident Clinic provides diagnostic imaging before accepting treatment.
Question: Can I go see my Family PCP if my collision injuries are minor?
Answer: Of course, anyone can visit their Family Physician for any number of reasons. Your Family Physician is there to provide comfort, answer questions and help control pain and discomfort. However, your Family PCP will generally avoid any risks involving insurance claim collections and billing.