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.