By James Engelman, DO
Picture this. You’re in a motor vehicle accident, be it either as the driver or passenger. The car suffered bad bumps and bruises – and so did you. While the vehicle needs to visit a body shop, you head directly to the nearest hospital ER to receive your very own body treatment. Soon, a doctor evaluates and tends to your injuries, outlines a care path, and you’re free to go home. You feel better, though, perhaps, not fully healed.
Now what? Do you get the prescribed follow-up care? Or, do you simply pop a few aspirins and hope for the best? These are questions that more people than you’d realize ask themselves every day. The reality is that auto accidents can happen anytime to anybody. For anyone who’s been through it, you know that receiving ongoing care following a motor vehicle accident can be quite overwhelming. And, let’s not forget about the added issue of dealing with your auto insurance company relative to the ins and outs of your medical coverage – which, depending upon what state you live in, can be equally painful.
At CentraState Medical Center, we can help take the burden off your sore shoulders during this trying time by virtue of our new Auto Injury and Concussion Center. This specialized program has been designed specifically to support the needs of our many patients involved in motor vehicle accidents.
Ensuring a full and speedy return to health
Over the course of a year, about 1,600 motor vehicle-related accident victims come through the emergency department doors at CentraState. We treat muscular and skeletal ailments, broken bones, body wounds and other more common auto-related accident injuries from which patients can be discharged that same day and left to pursue follow-up medical care on their own – or not.
That’s part of the underlying foundation for our Auto Injury and Concussion Center. As a medical professional who treats many auto accident patients, I’m often left to wonder if those I treat will follow the recommended care plan with their primary doctor or specialist the next day or the next week. Our primary objective with the Auto Injury and Concussion Center is to be there for these patients during what can be a trying journey. The Center provides a full spectrum of support, which includes:
• Finding the appropriate continuing care within the CentraState Medical Center system or elsewhere, regardless of the extent of your injuries, including orthopedic and neurosurgical services
• Navigating your claims and interactions with third-party companies, including insurance agencies
• Assigning a dedicated case manager who serves as your advocate with everything you need to ensure a full and speedy return to health.
Dedicated case manager serves as your advocate for continued care
One to two business days after your release from CentraState, our case manager will contact you to ensure you’re on the road to recovery. This individual will help you in setting up an appointment with a board-certified physician at CentraState who specifically treats conditions caused by motor vehicle accidents.
Of course, you can simply opt out. However, our hope is to support those who need help and might, otherwise, simply do nothing. A good number of men and women pass through our emergency department after a motor vehicle accident and truly are not complaining. They leave contending that they feel fine and likely throw out the follow-up care information we provide. But a day or two later, aches and pains inevitably kick in. They tend to think, for example, a muscle pain will be short lived when, in fact, it can persist for a number of weeks or months.
At the follow-up appointment, our doctor will assess your physical condition, provide an appropriate continuum of care plan specific to your diagnosis, and determine if further treatment, testing or services, such as physical therapy, speech therapy or pain management, is needed.
When treating an auto accident patient, we’re always looking for a potential concussion. Many times, this can result not just from your head striking the dashboard or some other part of the car, but from just the traumatic force of your head snapping back during impact. There are different levels of force that can trigger a concussion, and these can be different for females and males.
Among the primary symptoms you might be having when experiencing a concussion are: not thinking clearly, feeling slowed down, unable to concentrate, nausea and vomiting, headache, blurry vision, dizziness and more.
Supporting you with the ins and outs of medical insurance coverage
The experts at the CentraState Auto Injury and Concussion Center will, furthermore, guide you through the complex rules and regulations that are unique to auto accident injury care coverage in New Jersey. From insurance verification and pre-certifications, to appeals and PIP-arbitrations, we will provide guidance every step of the way.
Auto Injury and Concussion Center – Where to go, what to know
It’s important to note that even if you did not receive initial post-auto injury care at CentraState Medical Center, you can still contact the Center for follow-up care.
For more information about CentraState’s new Auto Injury and Concussion Center, call 888-254-7644. There are two locations: CentraState’s Star and Barry Tobias Ambulatory Campus, 901 W. Main St., Suite 240, Freehold Township; and CentraState Health Pavilion at East Windsor, 319 Route 130 North.
Dr. James Engelman is a physiatrist who specializes and is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Affiliated with CentraState Medical Center, he has been in practice for more than 20 years. Dr. Engelman can be reached by calling 866-CENTRA7.