Some patients may take advantage of Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income programs, reports Douglas W. Jackson, MD, on the Ortho Super Site.
Jackson did not realize how pervasive the abuse had become until he read that the percentage of Americans receiving Social Security disability benefits is approximately 4.5 percent of the U.S. population.
For people receiving benefits, 28.2 percent are for issues related to musculoskeletal systems.
Jackson believes that most patients do have appropriate disability evaluations and that there are many legitimate individuals receiving benefits.
But he also believes that what was once developed as a safety net for people who could not work for legitimate reasons is seeing a flood of applicants who are manipulating the system to receive monthly stipends for life.
The Social Security Administration plans to overhaul a part of the disability review process. A big part of any improvement must be to more effectively limit fraud and abuse, said Jackson.
Since such a high percentage of the disabilities involve the musculoskeletal system, orthopedic surgeons need to consider how they can be more involved by offering new solutions.
What do you think some of these necessary Social Security reforms should include?