What Is An Attending Physician Statement?

Joseph Meyer
Written by
Last update:

What Exactly Is Your Attending Physician Statement?

An attending physician statement is what it sounds like “ a statement that the physician has to provide. You will need to request an attending physician statement from the physician you choose to sign your file.

You want the attending physician to provide a detailed description that can be included in the attending physician statement. The physician should explain why the qualifying conditions or serious medical condition necessitates the medical use of marijuana.

The attending physician statement should also describe any previous treatment that the patient has received for the condition or symptoms.

You will need the attending physician statement in case state licensing, state or local law enforcement requests proof of their certification, and when applying to DOJ for a temporary registration certificate or when applying to the county or municipality for a registration card.

The attending physician statement will not be public information once it is on file with the DOJ, but it will be available for review when law enforcement or the county or municipality requests to see it.

Evaluating How Risky You Are

In the world of medical marijuana it is tempting to give a patient a recommendation for medical marijuana without going through a full evaluation process. It looks easy to be able to have a checklist to complete and from there you can give someone a prescription. However without going through the full process and researching the patient for their history, family medical history, and symptoms, a doctor may make a wrong call and put a patient at risk.

Each physicians knows what they are looking for when evaluating a potential patient and what to ask. However each state has a set of criteria that needs to be met before issuing a recommendation.

If you are a seasoned MMJ physician, then you know which patients are good to go and which ones need further evaluation, but as a new physician you will need to go through a checklist to ensure your practice abides by each state’s laws. Before issuing a recommendation, each state requires the doctor to evaluate the patient based on weight, blood levels and lab testing. Monitoring the patient based on these tests, medication needed, then monitoring each patient as they use their medication.

How Insurers Interpret Your Attending Physician Statement

Personal injury claims, lawsuits, and insurance claims can be complex. It can be difficult for an insurer to understand exactly what happened, who was at fault, and how the injuries that resulted must be compensated.

One of the only ways for an injured party to protect their interests is to provide an injured party’s attending physician statement to your insurance company. The attending physician statement is a letter from your doctor that details what happened, clarifies important facts, and provides supporting information. Nothing is left out.

Here are a few examples of how your attending physician statement can be interpreted by an insurance company.

{1}. If the injuries are related to an accident, your attending physician statement may be used to prove or disprove how the accident occurred.
{2}. If you’re making a personal injury claim, your attending physician statement may be used to prove damages. Of course, your statement should be detailed and comprehensive.
{3}. If your injury is related to an illness, your attending physician statement will be used to verify the extent of your injuries.
{4}. Lastly, your attending physician statement is an essential part of your claim. Because you can’t be there to tell your side of the story, your doctor can help speak on your behalf.

Do No Medical Exam Plans Still Obtain Physician Statements?

Most health insurance policies require a medical examination for each applicant prior to coverage. The applicant may be required to make arrangements with a physician (the “attending physician”) to perform the examination.

The required medical report is usually referred to as an “attending physician statement” or “APS.” Until recently, the medical report was generally a written, typed, and signed form provided to the applicant or his or her designated agent by the physician who performed the physical examination. This medical report was submitted along with proof of coverage and a completed health insurance application form.

Under the traditional approach, the medical report was a form letter generated by the physician’s office staff and typed in the doctor’s name. It was very limited in the amount of detail it contained. The doctor’s signature required a separate signature form to be completed after the examination of the applicant. During the time the doctor was performing the medical examination, he or she was sometimes not permitted to access the computer to complete the required medical report, which made the examination process inconvenient for the doctor and applicants.