Saturday, December 8, 2012

Depuy allows pain and suffering claims in Australia. Will the US be next? (2 of x)

This is the 2nd in a series on the offer that has been made to the patients in Australia for Pain and Suffering.

First in the series can be found here:

I have obtained all of the information on this process now so will start reporting it. As you know, there is no such program for pain and suffering claims that are available in the States at this time. I have no idea if this is precedent setting for the US or not but the process and offerings are interesting.

This post will deal with the letter that has been sent to the patients in Australia by Crawford, which is the claims agent equivalent to Broadspire in the US.

Excerpts from a letter sent by Crawford and company to a patients in Australia:

What to do if you have had or need revisions surgery (I will print what is important below.  Italics represent a direct quote from the letter.  [My comments] are inserted to shorten the message.)

Please find enclosed information guide for ASR patients No. 2 which has been designed to help you understand how to make a claim for reimbursement through Crawford  if your surgeon has recommended [revision surgery.]....

Under the Reimbursement Programme, .......Crawford will address the reasonable and customary costs related to that surgery including hospital charges [etc.......]

Depuy has also established the Depuy ASR patient Compensation Program.  This programme enables eligible patients to make a claim for compensation for matters not covered by the reimbursement programme such as pain and suffering and future expenses.  Any payment offered under the Compensation Programme will be in addition to expenses reimbursed under the Reimbursement Program.  If you wish to recieve more information regarding the Compensation Programme and /or make a claim for compensation, you can obtain a copy of the Depuy ASR Patient Compensation Programme Information Guide ........The details of your claim and Depuy's consideration of it will be confidential.

From Connie

So here is what I get out of this:

1. Depuy has extended two programs to the patients in Australia:
  • A Reimbursement program for replacing the hip which we have in the US
  • A Compensation Program which we don't have in the US.
2.  The Compensation Program is targeted to compensate patients for  pain and suffering and future expenses.
3.  It is being offered directly to the patients through the claims agent.
4.  If this is the practice that is being followed in Australia, it is perhaps reasonable to assume that it will be offered in the States.
5.  It seems this program is an attempt to deal directly with the patients which is fine but I can't imagine a patient signining an agreement with Depuy absent an attorney reviewing it.
6.  This raises the question to me as to me of 3 possiblities now:
  • Address this issue with the US claims agent (Broadspire)
  • Join the multidistrict litigation by submitting a case and litigate
  • Hire a lawyer and file directly in state court.
I don't know what any of this means yet.  I do have the booklet which has been sent to me by a hip replacement patient in Australia.  I will post more information as I go through the booklet especially regarding the 2nd program (Compensation Program.) 

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