About Me: My name is Gregory Vlastelica. I’m 58 and I live in Cotati. I am married and used to be an Olympic athlete. I played field hockey and also coached the sport at the collegiate level.
My Job and What Happened: I worked as a property manager for the Bodega Harbor Inn, a small vacation hotel and several rental properties. On Christmas Day 2010, there was a rainstorm, and I went to one of the homes where there was water damage. Outside, there were several chairs that had blown loose. I went to get them and slipped, fell down and did the splits. I heard a loud ‘pop’ and felt a lightning bolt of pain in my hip. I had dislocated my hip and torn the labrum.
What this has meant to my life: It’s been years of fighting for medical care and waiting for my employer’s insurance company’s approval. Every time a doctor requested treatment (physical therapy, surgery, MRI) it would lead to a 3-6 week delay. The insurer cut off physical therapy before I recovered. It took a year to get the employer’s insurance company to approve the correct diagnostic test and another 1 1/2 years from that point to get corrective surgery.
How Utilization Review (UR) Delays and Denials Affect Me: The 2 1/2 year delay in treatment has caused a serious compensating back injury. I can’t lie down due to the pain. I sleep sitting up, slouched over the dining room table to relieve my back pain. I don’t sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time. My hip still isn’t healed.
How Workers’ Comp was supposed to help me: Workers’ Compensation was supposed to help me: Workers’ Compensation was supposed to provide compensation for lost future earnings caused by my work injuries. The system was supposed to provide appropriate and timely medical treatment to help me return to work as quickly as possible. Instead, inordinate delays precede each medical decision made by my employer’s insurance claims examiner 2,000 miles away, and their UR company.
For more information, contact Steve Hopcraft, 916/457-5546; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.caaa.org