Injured Worker - Bud Nowell

Arthur "Bud" Nowell
UR Denied - 2013-2014



About Me:  My name is Arthur ‘Bud’ Nowell. I am 66, and live in La Verne, in LA County. I am married with two grown sons and four grandchildren.

My Job and What Happened: I spent 30 years working for the LAPD, and then 10 more with LA County. I worked a beat in South Central for my first 10 years, spent the next 10 in a helicopter and the next 20 providing assistance and support for police officers and their families in the event of a death, addiction problem or other stressful situation.  I loved my job and took great pride in serving and pro-tecting the people of LA. In the course of my many years, I lost most of my hearing.  I continued to work and it wasn’t until I failed a hearing test that I learned how bad my hearing loss had become. It makes sense, since my job involved shootings, helicopters, tactical training explosions and nine out of ten calls I went on for many years required lights and siren going.  

I understood and accepted the risks I took to do my job.

What this has meant to my life:  I only asked that the workers’ compensation insurance carrier provide the hearing aids that I need to be able to go about daily life.

I need to hear my wife when she’s speaking to me, hear the traffic noises when I drive, listen clearly on the telephone and be able to do simple daily things, like watch TV. 

A medical examiner determined that my hearing loss was job-related, and agreed I needed hearing aids. The County did provide hearing aids, but they were obsolete by the time I got them. I could hear the lawn mower going outside, next door; but I couldn’t hear someone speaking to me in the same room. They did not work for driving, hearing on the telephone or hearing my wife in a restaurant. They couldn’t separate the noise around me.

How Utilization Review (UR) Delays and Denials Affect Me:  A hearing expert recommended Blue-tooth-enabled hearing aids. These hearing aids are quite common and allow the person to control what noise is important and what should be tuned out.The Insurer’s Utilization Review (UR) denied the hearing aids as not medically necessary. I couldn’t go through life without hearing clearly, so I challenged the denial. The State’s Independent Medical Review (IMR) sent my request to a doctor in Florida for review. That doctor was not an audiologist, but rather an ANESTHESIOLOGIST. He denied my hearing aid request as not medically necessary.


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