How to Start, Build, and Run a Successful Disability and File Review Practice , January 20-21, 2024 (Live via Zoom)

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Disability and file review consulting is a growing and well-paid medical-legal field which offers opportunities for physicians beyond the traditional medical-legal work of IMEs and expert witnessing. These opportunities are for physicians of wide ranging specialties for full time, part time, and work at home employment/consulting assignments. It is a perfect field for physicians who dislike testifying, travel, and confrontation and who wish to apply their expertise in a way different from IMEs and testifying. How To Start, Build and Run a Successful Disability and File Review Consulting Practice prepares physicians to excel in the niche of disability and file review consulting. This unique course is taught by a highly-qualified faculty and attendees will be provided with information unavailable elsewhere. BONUS: The attendees will be provided with the names and contact information for 100 prime referral sources for file review work. Recommendations will be made as to the best way to solicit and obtain this work. This is SEAK’s most popular supplemental income course and is only offered once per year. 

At the completion of this two-day interactive workshop you will be able to:
• Determine the specific supplemental income opportunities available to you in disability and file review consulting
• Understand what a high quality file review consists of
• Learn the key medical-legal disability issues
• Understand the differing disability standards and contractual terms
• Efficiently write concise file reviews with supportable opinions
• Understand how to deal with issues such as:
     • Functional ability
     • Diagnostic tests
     • Impacts of medications on ability to work
• Market yourself directly and confidently to disability insurers and others looking for file reviews
• Understand the effects of inactivity
• Appreciate the pros and cons of developing an independent consulting practice 

Registration Information: Tuition is $1,395 until November 17, 2023; $1,495 November 18, 2023–December 22, 2023; $1,595 after December 22, 2023 and includes a detailed conference manual. Register early and save. A special 50% discount is available on one new or renewal standard listing in the SEAK Medical File Review Directory placed by attendees during the seminar. For the stream on-demand version please click here.

The SEAK Zoom Experience: We are very pleased that our Zoom training has been as well-received as SEAK’s superbly regarded in-person training.
• Each attendee will be provided with both an electronic and hard copy of the course manual.
• Our faculty will be fielding (and asking) many questions.
• This class will not be recorded or available for later streaming. Recording by attendees is strictly prohibited (we want everyone to speak their mind and take part in demonstrations and discussions).
• Each attendee gets a front-row seat! 

Continuing Medical Education Information: SEAK, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. SEAK, Inc. designates this live activity for a maximum of 14 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Cancellations:  Conference cancellations received on or before December 22, 2023 will receive a full tuition refund. Persons cancelling after December 22, 2023 will receive a full tuition credit. 

alvino-ed-1.jpgEdward C. Alvino, MD is Vice President, CMO, and Lead Medical Director for Unum in Worcester, Massachusetts. Dr. Alvino is Board Certified in Internal Medicine. Prior to becoming a medical director for a major disability insurer in 1996, Dr. Alvino was engaged in the private practice of internal medicine and geriatrics for 13 years in Bloomfield, Connecticut. During this period Dr. Alvino was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Alvino is also a part time faculty member at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts; where he lectures on the “Medical Aspects of Disability” and “Medical Rehabilitation” at the graduate level. 

donovan-nadine100px.jpgNadine Nasser Donovan, Esq., is a former medical malpractice defense attorney. She has been on the SEAK Faculty since 2002. Nadine has trained countless physicians in writing effective medical opinion reports at SEAK conferences, and via customized training and mentoring. Nadine is the co-author of the SEAK text How to Write an Expert Witness Report. Nadine is also a Legal Writing Instructor at Boston University School of Law. She spent 21 years practicing litigation, as a medical malpractice insurance defense attorney and previously, as a NYC prosecutor. Nadine received her J.D. cum laude from Boston College Law School. She graduated from Fordham University summa cum laude with a B.A. in French Literature. She can be contacted at 617-791-4282 or 

kuhn.jpgSharon Kuhn, MD is a Medical Reviewer for the Community Health Network of Connecticut, Inc. Her current responsibilities include medical necessity reviews at the prior authorization, peer-to-peer and Level 1 and 2 appeal levels. She also helps develop, review and implement medical policy. Her current responsibility is supporting retrospective reviews for Blue Cross Blue Shield. Dr. Kuhn is Board Certified in Pediatrics and was on the Yale medical staff for over 17 years. Her clinical focus is adolescents. Dr. Kuhn is a SEAK alumna.  


Day One (Saturday, January 20, 2024) 

9:00–9:15 AM EASTERN Introduction
The faculty introduces themselves, explains the goals of the course and the interactive teaching methodology that will be utilized. Questions & Answers 

9:15–9:45 AM EASTERN Disability vs. Medical File Review Consulting: Compared, Contrasted, & Explained
The faculty will compare and contrast disability reviews from other medical file reviews, and explain the contrasting approaches the physician reviewer will take to succeed in each area. Discussion will also cover the clinical review skills applicable to file & disability review work, the nuts and bolts of file & disability review work, and the typical questions medical file review physicians will be assessing. Questions & Answers 

9:45–10:30 AM EASTERN Medical File Reviews: Evidence-Based Analysis
Faculty will discuss the shift from clinician to evidence-based analysis that is critical for a physician to be successful at file review work. Discussion will also address the facts, data, and definition restrictions that are typically relevant to performing high level utilization reviews, pre-authorizations, chart reviews, and medical necessity reviews. Questions & Answers 

10:30–11:15 AM EASTERN File Review Work in Context of The Healthcare Industry
Faculty will provide context to the attendees about how file review work fits into the healthcare industry. This frank discussion will explain the nuances of why physician reviewers are needed and the role they play in the healthcare process, information that will help attendees land and excel at file review work. Questions & Answers 

11:15–11:30 AM EASTERN BREAK 

11:30 AM–12:15 PM EASTERN Life Cycle of Utilization Review Case
Faculty will walk participants through the life cycle of a utilization review case, the most common type of file review case. Discussion will include the stages of a case: initial reviews, criteria based-commercial reviews, Medicaid and Medicare D reviews, Appeals, medical necessity and specialty-matched reviews. Faculty will provide strategies as to how the reviewer can excel at each stage of the file review. Questions & Answers 

12:15–1:00 PM EASTERN How to Efficiently Conduct a File Review
Faculty will discuss a methodology that attendees can use to efficiently conduct a file review and effectively respond to focused requests posed in light of available (and sometimes voluminous) information and time challenges. Questions & Answers 


1:30–2:15 PM EASTERN How to Conduct an Effective Peer to Peer Call
Faculty will provide frank advice and strategies to conduct effective and productive peer to peer calls with patient providers. Faculty and attendees will discuss ways to diffuse potential antagonism and establish collegiality with providers. Questions & Answers 

2:15–3:30 PM EASTERN Case Studies: Medical File Reviews
Attendees will analyze medical file review case studies. Faculty will then lead a discussion, review, and critique of the attendees’ analysis. Questions & Answers 


3:45–4:45 PM EASTERN Disability Reviews: Medical Aspects of Disability
Faculty will discuss the challenges facing a physician disability reviewer, including disability terminology, the role of the medical reviewer in addressing functional limitations and/or restrictions, the standards for assessing medical restrictions, and the implications of pain on assessing functional and back to work restrictions. Questions & Answers 

4:45–5:15 PM EASTERN Reasonable and Appropriate Care Issues in Disability Reviews
Faculty will review the applicable standards and best practices with regard to reasonable and appropriate care. The effectiveness of treatments; what does and does not work and how to support findings will be presented. The practical implications for file review consultants will be explored with the attendees. Questions & Answers 

5:15–5:45 PM EASTERN Red Flags for Disability/Impairment
In this session, concrete examples of indications of disability/impairment, paper trails and their significance, indicia of ability, and the impact of secondary gain will be presented. Questions & Answers 

Day Two (Sunday, January 21, 2024) 

9:00–9:30 AM EASTERN Medications & Diagnostic Testing
Faculty will discuss and provide specific examples of the impact of medications on activity restrictions, such as dosing, side effects, and cognitive impairments. Faculty will also present the most commonly used/abused diagnostic tests and the relationship of findings to functional ability. A discussion of the over reliance on test results will take place with the attendees. Questions & Answers 

9:30–10:00 AM EASTERN Effects of Inactivity
A discussion of the latest medical and scientific research of the data on the effects of inactivity and the beneficial effects of work will be presented. Questions & Answers 

10:00 –11:00 AM EASTERN Case Study: Disability Review
Attendees will analyze a disability case study, which will bring to life the disability review concepts just discussed. Faculty will then lead a discussion, review, and critique of the attendees’ analysis. Questions & Answers 

11:00–11:15 PM EASTERN BREAK 

11:15 PM–12:30 AM EASTERN Writing Excellent Physician File & Disability Reviews
The faculty will explain and demonstrate a protocol and style physicians can utilize to write high quality file and disability reviews. Included will be a discussion of efficiency, conciseness, and how to express your opinions properly dealing with: the weight of the evidence, collateral evidence, and support with objective facts/data. Questions & Answers 

12:30–1:00 PM EASTERN Critiques of Attendees’ Submitted Reviews
In this session, the faculty will review pre-submitted file and/or disability reviews of the attendees. The attendees and faculty will point out areas of concern and where and how the review can be improved. Questions & Answers 


1:30–2:45 PM EASTERN Marketing
A practical discussion of how to obtain high quality work, what the insurance companies are really looking for, and making yourself desirable will be led by the faculty. Questions & Answers
BONUS: The attendees will be provided with the names and contact information for 100 prime referral sources for file review work. Recommendations will be made as to the best way to solicit and obtain this work. 

2:45 –3:15 PM EASTERN Ethics
The faculty will identify and lead a frank discussion of the ethical challenges faced by physician disability and file review consultants including: maintaining your credibility and effectiveness, always being able to defend your findings and never having to say you are sorry. Questions & Answers 


3:30–4:00 PM EASTERN Practice Setting for Physicians
A frank and lively discussion of the type of file review consulting practices available to physicians (in-house vs. independent) will be presented and the advantages and disadvantages of each will be explained. The faculty will discuss how to start and run a file review consulting practice, working as an employee, and how to find and maintain high quality work. Questions & Answers 

4:00–4:15 PM EASTERN Takeaways, Conclusion and Evaluation
The faculty will answer any and all outstanding questions. The faculty and attendees will then work together to develop a “bulletpoint” list of the most important concepts, techniques and action steps learned in this workshop. Questions & Answers 

Here’s what your colleagues and File Review referral sources are saying about SEAK’s File Review training and SEAK’s Medical File Review Directory:

“Wish I would have done it a few years ago when I started LTDs.”

“Interesting and informative. Provided practical information on the File and Disability Review process.”

“Excellent. Should be part of residency training.”

“Opened up a new way of thinking for me — I’m ultra impressed!”

“Exceeded all expectations”  

“Excellent, impressive, inspiring, educational course, well organized”  

“Excellent course. Putting the different aspects of file and case review into perspective with regard to the health industry and opportunities for physician consultants was very enlightening.”

“Thank you for your hard work. I enjoyed the weekend. It was my 4th or 5th SEAK course and they have all been very helpful.”


“Phenomenal – should be a requirement for all physicians who perform file reviews. The instructors were superb – bright, experienced, excellent presenters, practical, and humorous.”

“A very informative seminar. I learned a lot about a source of revenue that I had not previously been aware of.”

“Very informative and practical.”

“Well organized with highly experienced staff”

“Excellent, stimulating, useful, very helpful”

“Lots of content, thank you”

“Excellent, enjoyed all faculty very much.  Found [case studies] especially helpful”

“Very informative and practical.  Makes me feel prepared to start a disability review career”


“Very good, taught by very experienced faculty”

“Well organized, packed with info”

“Stimulating and challenging”

“Excellent very informative”

“[Learned the] wide range of possible opportunities in this field”

“Excellent instruction in proper format, writing style for reviews”

“Presenters were experts in their field”

“Excellent presentation, kept my interest, clear and practical.  Generous with tips – I so appreciate”

“Excellent all around” 

“In the past 18 months, the SEAK Medical File Review Directory has generated over 300 referrals, which has resulted in $100,000 in business. Thank you!” 

“From your Directory, I have been contacted by about 5 companies, each company has requested between 200 – 600 chart reviews” 

“I was listed in the SEAK File Review Directory for a year, and in addition to offers for “prn” case review work, a company called about a job which, full time, would pay $200,000 plus benefits, and part  time, 3 days per week, $120,000 plus benefits.”

“I have gained at least four new business clients from the directory.  Two of which are using my services frequently!  I wish I would have listed with SEAK years ago when I was developing my consulting business. Thank you!” 

“I am now doing a fairly brisk file review business, thanks in part to your course and Directory.  I have cut down my clinical practice to about 50%, and no longer do inpatient work…whew!!!” 

“I registered with your Directory last year as an experiment, and it turned out to be a very useful investment. I’ll be recommending it to friends and colleagues. Many thanks.” 

“Last year, I signed up for your directory and was impressed by the immediate responses I received.” 

“I am happy to report that thanks to SEAK I was recently contacted by one of the organizations that provides disability review services to the insurance industry. As you may remember, I attended the Disability Consulting for Physicians conference. Well, two weeks ago I received a call from Seattle asking my interest in providing review of short-term and long-term disability cases. The caller indicated that he had received my name from SEAK. So, I want to extend my personal appreciation for your insight in putting on the conference.” 

“I have been getting several file review jobs from the SEAK listings!  I would like to kindly request a copy of the SEAK Expert Witness Directory as well.  I am considering adding myself to this directory as well. Thank you!” 

“From your Directory, I have had 5 or 6 referrals, of which, now I work with 2 regularly.” 

“I found the file review very interesting, challenging and actually learned from my reviews.” 

 “Thanks to my listing with SEAK, I’ve become Medical File Review Consultant for three organizations. I receive regular work from them but see my work with them as a diversification of income source.” 

 “I got a great customer from u guys and now I am too busy!  I would highly recommend your organization, and I do.” 

 “I think the directory is terrific” 

 “At this point because I now have so much review work (repeat from certain clients) that I can’t really take on any more at the current time with my clinical schedule. (it is a testimony of the success of the listing).” 

“Excellent, very useful.”


“Consistently engaging and met objectives” 

“Well groomed curriculum and content” 

“Very informative, encouraging” 

“Very good, just what I needed” 

“Excellent, well done, appropriate concepts” 

“Informative, well organized” 

“Carefully crafted and paced” 

“As usual SEAK = excellence. A beacon of light for docs.”  

“Concise and informative”  

“Excellent content, excellent facilities”  

“Had been considering work in file review, but did not feel confident in knowing what was expected in such a practice. I now feel this is something I am able to do as a result of my training weekend”  

“Helpful, to the point and direct on issues for how to analyze/do reviews” 

“Impressive, informative, helpful”  


“Well organized/comprehensive in scope/great location”  

“Well worth the time”  

“All excellent presenters”  

“The conference was really super informative. Thank you so much for helping open a new part of my work life!” 

“Wish I would have done it a few years ago when I started LTDs”.  

“Thank you sir!! The conference was outstanding and provided me the information I need to confidently move forward in performing file review work part-time. Excellent speakers and venue.” 

“It was excellent work. Very useful information throughout the course. All speakers did a great job with all the topics. I was very much impressed with your very honest, and balanced approach. You came out as an authentic and a genuine person to help physician discover their potential.”  

“Thank you so much! You had recommended this conference to me when we spoke last March. I am really glad that you did. I learned so much!” 

“It was an interesting and very good course filled with lots of information, resources and leads. Hoping to put it all to good use shortly.“  

“Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend the Disability and File Review conference. Now I have a much better idea of what is involved in this area and especially about what is involved to write a great report. You and Dr. Anfield and Dr. Alvino did an excellent job and keep the information coming with a lot of very useful content and real-life review examples. I would definitely recommend this course to clients of mine who are interested in this area, as I know they would gain useful knowledge and concrete skills to be able to be find work and be successful doing reviews.”  

“Awesome! Learned so much!”

“AWESOME!! -Subject matter in its entirety, delivery in sections. “

“Excellent-will help me write better reports.”

“Very highly qualified lecturers”

“Very informative, excellent delivery of knowledge.”

“It was a very good conference.   You are all good speakers and very knowledgeable.  It was interesting to get the insurer’s view on disability.   I should have done this earlier in my career. The first year of my career. This type of course should be a part of basic medical education.”

“Thank you! I intend to pursue file review as a career immediately. I've been doing IME's for about four years and have developed an interest in the medical-legal field. Your training was my missing link and I'm confident I will be able to move forward. I couldn't be more grateful!”

“Thank you! For your vision and purpose. I left inspired by your tenacity and long suffering. You reminded that honest Service to others is always rewarding.”

“Thank you for a great course and beautiful facilities. FYI. I am new to file reviews. I got my first contract less than 24 hours after leaving the course!!!!”

“Yes, it was just what I needed to get started, thank you so much for all your time and expertise. You clearly have put a great deal of effort into the course work. I appreciate your patience as well.”

“Thanks for made me a star! It is such a great honor for my work being recognized by you and your team! The training provided by SEAK Inc. has equipped me with more useful tools and skills that I can apply to my work.”

“It was great. I will be at the Chicago courses. I think you really found a needed niche. I will pass the word on to my colleagues.”

“I have been eyeing your courses for 8 years, I finally got coverage so I could attend this one this year. I wasn’t disappointed at all. I am hoping I have absorbed enough to be good at this. I REALLY want to leave clinical medicine as my primary full time job.”

“Superb seminar. I feel confident after attending that my present (IME & Medical Review) components of my practice which is now in its infancy, will really move ahead more quickly.” 

“Excellent training, comprehensive, provides the tools you need to enter and succeed performing in this kind of work”

“Focused, efficient introduction to subject.”

“Well organized and polished.”

“Fantastic! Lively and engaging with a tremendous amount of information.”

“Outstanding! The wisdom of the staff is priceless.”

“[The course] was fantastic. I’m definitely going to try to do a few reviews now and thank you for giving me the tools to do so!”