Positron Emission Tomography (“PET”) scans, a powerful medical imaging technique, can play a crucial role in supporting your short or long term disability claim by providing valuable insights into the physiological aspects of various health conditions. These scans allow healthcare professionals to visualize and measure metabolic processes in the body, offering objective evidence of organ function and abnormalities.
With their ability to illuminate neurological disorders, cardiovascular conditions, and other impairments, PET scans can provide compelling support if you are seeking short term or long term disability benefits, aiding in the substantiation of your claim. In this article, we’ll explore the significance of PET scans in the disability claims process and how they contribute to the comprehensive medical evidence required for a successful claim.
What conditions can the PET scan diagnose or substantiate?
PET scans can help diagnose and provide supporting evidence for a range of medical conditions across different specialties. Here are some conditions that PET scans can diagnose or substantiate:
Cancer: PET scans are widely used in oncology to detect and stage various types of cancer, including lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lymphoma, and others. They can help identify primary tumors, detect metastases, and assess the response to cancer treatments.
Neurological Disorders: PET scans are valuable in diagnosing and studying neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, brain tumors, stroke, and dementia. They can reveal abnormal patterns of brain activity and identify areas of decreased metabolism.
Cardiovascular Disease: PET scans can evaluate blood flow to the heart muscle, identify areas of ischemia (reduced blood supply), and assess heart function. They are used in diagnosing and managing conditions like coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction (heart attack), and cardiomyopathy.
Brain Disorders: PET scans can provide insights into various brain disorders, including psychiatric conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. They can assist in differentiating between different types of dementia and assessing the severity and progression of these disorders.
Inflammatory and Infectious Diseases: PET scans can help identify areas of inflammation in the body and distinguish between active and dormant infections. They are useful in diagnosing conditions such as vasculitis, sarcoidosis, and certain types of infections like abscesses.
Metabolic Disorders: PET scans can aid in the evaluation and diagnosis of metabolic disorders such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and certain types of liver diseases.
Other Conditions: PET scans may also be used in evaluating lung diseases, evaluating bone and joint disorders, and monitoring response to certain therapies like radiation therapy or immunotherapy.
What does the PET scan involve?
Undergoing a PET scan is a straightforward process. Before the scan, you may need to follow specific instructions provided by the healthcare facility, such as fasting or avoiding certain medications. On the day of the scan, a radioactive tracer is injected into a vein in your arm. This tracer, which is a clear liquid, will enter your bloodstream. The injection is quick and usually painless.
After the tracer is injected, you may be asked to wait for around 45 to 60 minutes. During this time, the tracer circulates through your body and accumulates in the targeted organs or tissues.
When it’s time for the scan, you will be taken to the imaging room and placed on an examination table, which will slowly move through the PET scanner. The scanner is a large, doughnut-shaped machine with a tunnel in the center. It’s important to lie as still as possible during the scan to ensure clear images.
The scan itself typically takes 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the specific imaging protocol and the areas being examined. Throughout the procedure, you will be able to communicate with the technologist through an intercom system, and they will monitor you.
Once the scan is complete, the technologist will help you off the examination table. You may be asked to wait briefly while the images are reviewed to ensure their quality.
After the scan, you can generally resume your normal activities unless there are any specific post-scan instructions provided by the healthcare facility. Over time, the radioactive tracer will naturally lose its radioactivity and be eliminated from your body through urine or stool.
Throughout the process, healthcare professionals conducting the scan will guide you and address any concerns or questions you may have.
How can the PET scan help my disability claim?
A PET scan may support your short or long term disability claim by providing objective evidence of the physiological aspects of your condition. When filing a disability claim, it is crucial to establish the presence, severity, and functional limitations of your medical condition.
Here’s how a PET scan can contribute to supporting your disability claim:
Objective Evidence: A PET scan produces detailed images that show the activity and metabolism of organs and tissues. These images provide objective evidence of any abnormalities or impairments related to your condition. This can help substantiate the existence and severity of your disabling condition and symptoms.
Diagnosis Confirmation: In some cases, a PET scan can aid in confirming a diagnosis or ruling out other potential causes of your symptoms. This can be particularly useful when the condition you are claiming is complex or difficult to diagnose through other means. A confirmed diagnosis supported by a PET scan can strengthen your claim.
Functional Impact: Establishing the functional limitations resulting from your condition is imperative for your disability claim. PET scans can help identify and quantify the functional impact of your condition by showing how it affects the metabolism and activity of specific organs or tissues. This information can support your claim by providing objective evidence of the impairments you experience.
Treatment Response: If you have undergone specific treatments for your condition, a PET scan can help assess the effectiveness of those treatments. It can demonstrate whether the treatments have failed to produce any improvement in your condition. This information can be valuable in showcasing the ongoing limitations and need for disability benefits.
Medical Documentation: In the disability claims process, comprehensive medical documentation is crucial. Including a PET scan report along with other relevant medical records can strengthen your case by providing objective, measurable evidence of the physiological aspects of your condition.
Remember that disability claims often require a multifaceted approach, and a PET scan is just one component of the overall medical evidence you may submit to substantiate your claim. It is advisable to consult with an experienced ERISA attorney before filing or appealing a claim on your own. The experienced team at The Maddox Firm can ensure you gather and present the necessary medical documentation needed to support your claim most effectively to maximize your chances of benefit approval.
How can The Maddox Firm prove my disability claim?
The Maddox Firm regularly handles disability insurance claims, appeals, and litigation for clients with complex diagnoses requiring PET scanning. We can help you determine whether the PET scan is appropriate for your claim. Here are a few of the ways The Maddox Firm helps with disability claims:
The Maddox Firm will examine your short or long term disability insurance policy. By reviewing your policy, we can determine the specific terms and criteria for receiving benefits. We will help you understand the specific parameters outlined in your policy, ensuring you are well-informed when pursuing your short or long term disability insurance claim.
The Maddox Firm takes over all communication with your insurance company. We act as your representative, handling all interactions, correspondence, and negotiations with your insurance company. This includes submitting necessary documents, responding to inquiries, and advocating for your rights and interests throughout the claims process. By entrusting the communication to The Maddox Firm, you can focus on your well-being and recovery while having experienced professionals handle the complexities of dealing with your insurance company on your behalf.
The Maddox Firm will gather and review your medical evidence. We will request and obtain your medical records on your behalf from your treating healthcare providers. By examining your medical records, we can identify any inconsistencies, inaccuracies, or gaps in your evidence and strategize to address these red flags. Our experienced team will also coordinate with your providers to obtain supplemental statements that outline your treatment history, diagnosis, symptoms, and how your condition prevents you from working.
The Maddox Firm will help obtain additional evidence for your disability claim. By reviewing your medical records and evidence, we can help you determine if the PET scan is appropriate for your claim. If needed, we can recommend you for additional testing with trusted professionals, such as the Functional Capacity Evaluation of neuropsychological evaluation.
The Maddox Firm will file an appeal, litigation, or negotiate a settlement with your insurance company on your behalf. If you are facing a short or long term disability claim denial or termination, The Maddox Firm can help. We will prepare and file an administrative appeal on your behalf. We can also sue your insurance company on your behalf for your disability benefits. The Maddox Firm routinely handles disability insurance appeals, litigation, and negotiations.
You should consult with an attorney before filing a short or long term disability claim on your own. If you have already received a denial or termination of benefits, you speak with an ERISA attorney before filing an appeal. The experienced team at The Maddox Firm will review your insurance policy, correspondence from your insurance company, medical records, and any other relevant documentation in order to give you personalized guidance on how we can help you win your short and/or long term disability claim.
Whether you are filing a claim for the first time, appealing a claim denial, or facing litigation against your insurance company, The Maddox Firm can help.
Contact us to help you file your claim, appeal, or litigation the right way.