Attorney at Law Magazine Features Ed Comitz

Attorney at Law Magazine recently featured one of the firm’s founding members, Ed Comitz, as its “Attorney of the Month.”  Go to Attorney at Law Magazine  to read the full interview and learn about Ed’s unique niche, how he manages the disability insurance practice section, and why he decided to advocate for physicians and dentists filing disability insurance claims.

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Karla Thompson Discusses Common Claim Mistakes
in U.S. News & World Report

Comitz | Beethe Associate Karla Thompson recently spoke with Geoff Williams, a journalist for U.S. News & World Report Money, about common mistakes consumers make when they file insurance claims.

In the article, Ms. Thompson discusses one of the chief errors that can lead to a claim being denied: talking to claims analysts on the phone.  Mr. Williams writes:

If you’re a conversationalist and enjoy talking, be careful. Karla Baker Thompson is a Scottsdale, Arizona-based insurance attorney who specializes in representing professionals with disability insurance claims.

“Most people don’t realize how claims handlers are trained to ask loaded questions whenever they talk to policyholders, and to memorialize everything the claimant says in a written memo after the call,” Thompson says. “The questions might seem routine or mundane to the policyholder, but the answers they elicit can have serious consequences, including denial of the claim.”

Thompson offers the example of a claims handler asking what you’ve been doing that day.

“If you say you went out to pick up a prescription, you’re not just making small talk. You’ve just led that claims adjuster to believe – whether accurately or not – that you’re capable of leaving the house, getting in your car, driving, filling out paperwork, and possibly lifting and carrying bags,” Thompson says.

Maybe, Thompson adds, someone drove you to get that prescription, or maybe you did go out yourself but you came back and felt miserable afterward.

“If you’re just speaking off the cuff, you may not be giving the proper context to your answers,” she says. “Worse, you could say something inaccurate by mistake.”

Other examples in the article include assuming your insurance company is right and not getting the proper documentation to support your claim.

Check out the article in its entirety to learn more: Don’t Make These Mistakes When Filing an Insurance Claim.

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“Working Through Pain:
How Chronic Conditions Affect Dentists”

Dentists are particularly at risk for disability due to the strenuous nature of their job.  Dentists are also some of the most likely to keep working through the pain–even if they shouldn’t be.  Our new article in Dentaltown Magazine explores how working through chronic pain can affect dentists in their personal and professional lives.  Read the full article at Dentaltown today.

“Working Through Pain: How Chronic Conditions Affect Dentists”

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Three Firm Members Named to Arizona’s Finest Lawyers

Three firm members, Edward Comitz, Patrick Stanley, and Mike Beethe, were selected by their peers as Members of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers. Mr. Comitz and Mr. Stanley practice in the areas of healthcare, disability insurance and commercial litigation, although Mr. Stanley adds estate planning to his skills. Mr. Beethe focuses on business transactions and real estate litigation. The AFL has a limited membership of individuals who have attained positions of honor and trust in the legal community through their noteworthy achievements.

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All About Disability Insurance with Dentaltown’s Howard Farran DDS, MBA

Edward Comitz is talking about disability insurance with Howard Farran, the founder and publisher of Dentaltown Magazine. Ed will be discussing why and when to buy disability insurance and what to avoid or look for when you do.

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Patrick Stanley Selected as a Sustaining Member of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers

Firm member Patrick Stanley, whose practice areas include disability insurance and healthcare litigation, was selected as a Sustaining Member of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers. Nominations to Arizona’s Finest Lawyers are governed by strict ideologies and are made by Sustaining Members, selectees, and members of the Executive and Advisory Boards. The AFL seeks to build a diverse membership of individuals who, through noteworthy achievement, have reached positions of honor and trust. A Sustaining Member must be highly skilled, have a well-known reputation for honor and professional behavior, and be dedicated to AFL’s mission and goals.

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Ed Comitz Selected as one of Arizona’s Top 100 Lawyers by Az Business Magazine

Attorney Ed Comitz, the head of the healthcare and disability insurance practice at Comitz | Beethe, was chosen by AZ Business as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona. Attorneys throughout the state were nominated by their firms and their peers.  From that pool of over 1,000 attorneys, the editorial team and industry experts narrowed down the list to the 100 top lawyers in the state based upon their professional success, impact on the firm, impact on the community and impact on the legal profession.

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Edward Comitz Named as an Arizona Business Leader in Healthcare Law

Edward O. Comitz, the head of the healthcare and disability insurance law practice at the Scottsdale law firm of Comitz | Beethe, has been selected as an Arizona Business Leader in the area of Healthcare Law.  According to the editor in chief, Arizona Business Magazine made its final selections from a pool of over 5,000 of “the best and brightest Arizona business leaders in healthcare, real estate, construction, education, banking, financial services and law.  Over the course of more than two dozen meetings, that list of 5,000 leaders under consideration was pared down to about 500 names, which the selection panel considered to be the most influential leaders in their industries, broken down into categories.”

Other Arizona leaders named in 2015 include U.S. Senator John McCain, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, and sports executive and former owner of the Phoenix Suns, Jerry Colangelo.

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Comitz | Beethe at Arizona Society of Anesthesiologists Scientific Meeting

This Friday and Saturday, May 16-17, Comitz | Beethe will have a booth in the exhibitor hall of the Arizona Society of Anesthesiologists 40th Annual Scientific Meeting at the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center.  Attendees are invited to stop by our booth for information about our law firm, what doctors can expect when filing a disability insurance claim, and how our firm may be able to assist you.

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Ed Comitz Presenting Course “Disability Insurance: Will It Be There When You Need It?” at Western Regional Dental Convention on Friday April 4 and Saturday April 5, 2014

Attorney Ed Comitz, the head of Comitz | Beethe’s healthcare and disability insurance practice, will be giving a presentation called “Disability Insurance: Will It Be There When You Need It? Choosing Policies, Pursuing Benefits and Litigating Claims” on April 4th (Course Code F08) and April 5th (Course Code S06) at 8:30 a.m. at the Western Regional Dental Convention in Phoenix, Arizona.  The course is worth three CE credits for dentists who attend.  Registration information is available on the Western Regional Dental Convention’s website.

Comitz | Beethe is also an exhibitor at the dental convention.  Please feel free to stop by our Booth 537 (directly across from the Internet Cafe) if you have questions about your disability insurance policy or claim.

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Comitz Beethe Named #1 Healthcare Law Firm

Comitz | Beethe’s has been named Arizona’s #1 Healthcare Law Firm by Ranking Arizona: The Best of Arizona Business.

Ranking Arizona publishes the results of an annual poll of the Arizona business community. Residents are asked to share their opinions of the best products, services and people in the state, including who they would recommend doing business with.  Comitz | Beethe was selected as the state’s top healthcare law firm for its work representing physicians and dentists, including its handling of disability insurance claims for healthcare professionals.

The firm was also named as one of the top 5 Arizona law firms with 20 or fewer attorneys, the top 5 commercial litigation firms, and the top 10 real estate law firms.

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The Injured Physician: Is Your Work Ethic Hurting You and Your Patients?

Comitz | Beethe disability insurance attorneys Edward O. Comitz and Patrick T. Stanley recently had their article “The Injured Physician:  Is Your Work Ethic Hurting You and Your Patients?” published in the Winter 2013 edition of AzMedicine, the quarterly publication of the Arizona Medical Association.

In the article, Mr. Comitz and Mr. Stanley review some of the unintended consequences, both professional and personal, of a physician continuing to work through adversity, and the potential impact on his or her disability insurance coverage.  For example, a physician who has modified his practice or work schedule in an effort to accommodate a disability may effectively change his occupational definition as it is defined in his “own occupation” disability insurance policy, making it difficult, if not impossible, to collect benefits when they are most needed.

The article also analyzes some of the pitfalls of “residual disability” or “partial disability” riders, such as the manner in which the insurer will determine the amount of benefits paid and differences in how long the insurance company is required to pay benefits.

The Arizona Medical Association periodically updates its website with recent editions of AzMedicine, or you may contact our office to obtain a copy of the full article and/or to speak with a disability insurance attorney.

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Attorney Ed Comitz Interviewed by The Street re Disability Insurance

Scottsdale attorney Edward O. Comitz was recently consulted by the popular financial website The Street regarding his thoughts on whether it’s a good financial decision to purchase an individual disability insurance policy.   Based on the high premiums and his experience as an attorney who specializes in assisting sick or injured claimants with obtaining the individual disability insurance benefits to which they are entitled, Mr. Comitz advised that, with the exception of medical professionals such as dentists and surgeons – for whom even a minor injury can be career-ending – disability insurance is not a good investment unless you are also prepared to incur the costs of hiring an attorney if your claim is denied or terminated.

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New: Disability Insurance Newsletter

We receive many, many requests for more information on disability insurance companies, disability insurance claims, and other relevant news and updates.

This blog is a great way for us to keep you informed about general disability news and claim topics, but we wanted a way to keep those most interested in what our firm does up to date in a more comprehensive way.

Coming soon, we will be distributing a monthly e-mail newsletter.  The newsletter will contain information not included on this blog, such as:

  • Detailed tips for filing disability insurance claims with various carriers;
  • Examples of best practices vs. worst practices when interacting with your insurer;
  • Updates on recent disability cases relevant to your claim or potential claim;
  • Specific answers to common questions, which newsletter recipients can submit anonymously; and
  • Information on lectures and classes you can attend to hear the firm’s attorneys speak about choosing disability insurance policies and filing claims.

If you are interested in subscribing (at no cost, of course), please sign up here:

Comitz | Beethe’s Disability Insurance Newsletter.

Your name is not required.  Please rest assured that we will not use or distribute your e-mail address for any other reason.

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Comitz | Beethe To Be Exhibitor at the Arizona Society of Anesthesiologists Scientific Meeting in Scottsdale

Disability attorneys from the law firm of Comitz | Beethe will be available to speak with anesthesiologists attending the 39th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Arizona Society of Anesthesiologists this Friday and Saturday at the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center.  If you have questions regarding your disability insurance policy or filing a disability claim, please feel free to stop by our exhibitor table for informative materials and/or to talk with one of the attorneys at our booth.

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Comitz | Beethe to be Exhibitor at Tucson Osteopathic Medical Foundation’s 22nd Annual SW Conference on Medicine

Comitz | Beethe is pleased to be an exhibitor for the first time at the Tucson Osteopathic Medical Foundation’s upcoming 22nd Annual Southwestern Conference on Medicine at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona, April 4-7, 2013.  Attending osteopaths who have questions about their disability insurance policies or filing a disability insurance claim are welcome to come by our booth for information about some of the common mistakes doctors make when filing a claim, and to learn more about the legal services provided by Comitz | Beethe to assist doctors with disabilities.  Our law firm also assists physicians with medical practice transitions, healthcare regulatory compliance, and healthcare practice management.  We will be at Table 14 — please stop by and say hello!

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Ranking Arizona Names Comitz | Beethe #1 for the Second Year in a Row

Comitz | Beethe has been named the #1 Arizona Law Firm with 24 or fewer attorneys by Ranking Arizona: The Best of Arizona Business for the second year in a row.

Ranking Arizona is an annual publication of Arizona Business Magazine.  Every year, Arizona Business Magazine compiles a list of the top companies in the state in various categories, including professional services such as accounting, real estate, and law.  The final rankings in each category are selected by Arizona residents, who vote for the firms they most recommend.

In addition, Edward Comitz, head of the firm’s healthcare and disability insurance practice, and Patrick Stanley, another Comitz | Beethe member that focuses his practice on disability insurance claims, were both named Top Healthcare Attorneys in Ranking Arizona‘s individual rankings.



Edward Comitz Named Top Valley Lawyer for Insurance

Edward O. Comitz, Esq., head of Comitz | Beethe’s disability insurance practice section, has been named a Top Valley Insurance Lawyer by North Valley Magazine, a publication serving the Greater Phoenix metropolitan community.

Each year, North Valley Magazine partners with Avvo, Inc., to publish a list of the area’s leading legal professionals.  Check out the full article here.



Comitz | Beethe an Exhibitor at Osteopath
Convention in Scottdale, Arizona

The Phoenix disability insurance law firm of Comitz | Beethe is a Business Partner of the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association and will be an exhibitor next week at the 90th Annual AOMA Convention at the Hilton in Scottsdale, Arizona.  We invite all osteopath physicians attending the convention to stop by our table — Exhibitor Booth #79 near the breakfast buffet tables — to say hello and pick up informational packets about our firm and Arizona disability insurance practice.



AzMedicine publishes “Can Your Disability Insurer Dictate the Terms of Your Care?” article by Ed Comitz and Michael Vincent

Disability insurance attorney Edward O. Comitz and Michael Vincent, Summer Associate at Comitz | Beethe, had their article Can Your Disability Insurer Dictate the Terms of Your Care? published in the Winter edition of AzMedicine, the publication of the Arizona Medical Association.  The article is excerpted below.

Can Your Disability Insurer Dictate the Terms of Your Care?

By Edward O. Comitz, Esq. and Michael Vincent

           Imagine that you are a surgeon who has submitted a disability insurance claim after failed cataract surgery left you with halos, starbursts, and even temporary blindness under bright lighting. While you are dedicated to your profession, you realize that continuing to operate on patients puts them in danger.  Your disability insurance company, however, will not pay your claim.  It insists that you can keep performing surgeries, alleviating any occupational hazards by wearing sunglasses and using matte-finish instruments in the operating room.  This scenario may sound absurd, but it is an actual example of some of the difficulties faced by many doctors seeking legitimate policy benefits.  Fortunately, the surgeon in question had the common sense to cease performing surgeries rather than follow her insurer’s suggestions.  Her decision did affect her financially, as benefits were denied for almost two years, and only paid after litigation ensued.

Insurance company treatment mandates are commonplace and based on their interpretation of the terms of your policy.  In some cases, the insurance company goes so far as to demand surgery, invading your privacy and leaving you with the choice of either undergoing an operation involuntarily, bearing all of the medical risks and financial costs yourself, or waiving your right to collect disability insurance benefits.  The decision can be difficult, but understanding your rights and obligations beforehand can help alleviate much of the worry.

Whether or not insurers can legally condition payment of your disability insurance benefits upon you following their suggested treatments depends on the specific terms in your policy.  The various policy types fall into three general categories: “regular care” policies, “appropriate care” policies, and “most appropriate care” policies.

The oldest policies typically contain provisions conditioning benefits on being “under the regular care and attendance of a physician.”  These “regular care” policies provide the most protection for insureds, as courts have repeatedly found that these provisions only create a duty for the insured to undergo regular monitoring by a physician to determine if the disability persists.  Even if a proposed surgery is usually successful and very low risk, an insurance company cannot force it upon you.  Under a policy requiring only regular care, courts will not enforce any particular course of treatment, no matter how vehemently an insurance company objects. Continue reading “AzMedicine publishes “Can Your Disability Insurer Dictate the Terms of Your Care?” article by Ed Comitz and Michael Vincent”