Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tennessee Regulator Shows Contempt for Constituents

The Nashville Chapter of the Midsouth Workers' Compensation Association invited two state regulators to their monthly meeting today to discuss the ongoing work of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. If attendees were expecting a calm discussion of workers' compensation issues, they left disappointed.

According to a trusted source who was present, the state's medical director, Robert Kirkpatrick, launched into a vitriolic rant against physical therapists who work with doctors treating workers' compensation patients. Kirkpatrick said that a hearing requested by the Tennessee Medical Association regarding new rules would be a "rat killing." Those who asked questions about those rules were repeatedly told to attend the "rat killing," by which he meant a hearing that is supposed to be part of the rulemaking process.

And, it turns out, a lawsuit has been filed against the department by a medical provider group claiming that the department has failed to abide by state laws regarding the development of regulations.

Kirkpatrick may or may not be right about his accusations of impropriety, but his contempt for the rulemaking process and for those who disagree with him is not worthy of his office.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

as an insider to the use/abuse of PT by dedicated OM clinics mainly for the bottom line - I think ratkilling is tame - I doubt Dr Kirkpatrick said that but it's time people take a stand for what is right and against wrong even if not "poloiticly correct" or kind.

10:44 AM  
Blogger MCO said...

The extent to which PT is abused in the workers' compensation system can be debated: industry studies show a bigger problem with over use of surgical services. Be that as it may, I did not criticize Kirkpatrick for taking a position on an issue or not being "politically correct." I do criticize him for showing contempt for the rulemaking process. That process should be important to anyone who believes that public input on the laws that affect us is an important right, and Kirkpatrick's remarks show him to be unworthy to hold a public trust.

4:57 PM  

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