It’s time to retire the Attending Physician Statement

Digital health records are now ready to eliminate the inefficiency of the APS

Authored by: Steve Malik, Founder & CEO, Greenlight Health Data Solutions

We have all experienced the frustration of having to re-enter personal information several times, on various forms, that you know already exist somewhere in the same system. Clearly, this is happening because one system or process is fully disconnected from another. Despite existing advancements that should logically replace an outdated approach, they are not always put into place. After 100+ years, it’s time to retire the Attending Physician Statement.

Nowhere is this perhaps more true than in the insurance world, where the claims process is complex, frustrating, and just mentally draining, especially for the insured claimant. It’s not just the feeling of being stuck on the treadmill with the process, but the loss of control that begins to spiral. When you file a claim, generally it’s a given that something challenging has already happened to you or a loved one. To top it off, you must now go through the complex process to try and recover payments from an insurance company to help with the financial loss you are facing.

Of course, it all starts with manual form filing that is now supported by various degrees of online capability but has no real integration throughout the claims process. The form might only serve as an initial input vehicle to the insurer. Once completed, the waiting game continues. You might now have the feeling that you just gave up control, not knowing what your experience will be. Why is this the case and how can it potentially be improved for everyone involved?

In the claims process, an insurer frequently requires medical records and/or an Attending Physician Statement (APS) to review a claim. Disability insurance, initially called accident insurance, was first introduced in the late 1800’s. In 1911, Wisconsin became the first state to institute workers’ compensation laws, and nine others followed that same year. Around that time, over 100 years ago, the APS was created as a requirement to support the growing number of claims where medical records were required. By 1920, 45 states were supporting workers’ compensation coverage, with the remainder participating by 1948. Social Security Disability launched in 1956. So, demand for medical records and the APS steadily…

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