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Dr. Frank Izuta, director of ...
Dr. Frank Izuta, director of occupational medicine at Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific (REHAB), says, "I don't think the workers' comp system has changed much since I've been here, but fewer doctors, specialists in particular, are willing to see workers' comp patients.
As to reimbursement fees, Izuta
says, "All doctors are suffering because of the fee schedule.Many doctors-surgeons, for example, feel they have only a certain amount of time for their livelihood.The cost of living in Hawaii being so high, combined with the low reimbursement fees, are major factors."
So what is the bottom line here?Will, can, the apparently broken workers' comp program be repaired?"The workers' comp system (in Hawaii) probably won't be fixed until it just does not function," says Dr. Izuta
.Not a very healthy prognosis.
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Second OpinionDr. Frank Izuta, director of occupational medicine at REHAB, examines a patient's hand injury.
Medical Executive Committee | About Rehab
Frank Izuta, MD
"The same problems still exist on the employer's side," says Dr. Frank Izuta, director of occupational medicine at REHAB (The Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific.) "Rates have gone up for employers.Certain employers are having a problem even getting insurance."What are the basic causes of the rising rates?"Part of it is the way workers' comp is practiced here," says Izuta, "with an open system."Izuta explains that there are ways the rates possibly might be reduced as a result of action on the part of the employer."Companies that are proactive in their safety programs seem to be doing well.These programs seem to reduce the severity of the injuries.Consequently, if the injury is more responsive to treatment, health care costs are lower."Izuta
also believes that post-offer physical exams to determine whether the hired employee is able to do the job, plus work station assessments, (both of which REHAB
performs) help to reduce injuries.
Find A Physician | About Rehab
Franklin I. Izuta, MD
Medical Director, Occupational Medicine
Internal Medicine and Family Practice
Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific:
Frank Izuta, MDOccupational Medicine