Informing Patients About their PR-4 Impairment Reports

In this episode, Dr. John Alchemy elucidates the process of informing workers’ comp patients about their impairment ratings, and focuses on how to keep communication clear and open with them through their work comp journey.

If you’re a workers’ compensation provider, adjuster, or case manager check out RateFast Express: the service that writes your impairment reports for you!

Work Comp Win: RateFast Receives a Patent!

Every day, people come up with quite useful ideas. Some of the ideas are genius. The problem is that nobody will ever know that the idea is genius if they never see it!

And simply because one has a great idea, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the idea is eligible for a patent.

To go along with the benefits of having the government recognize the fruits of your labor, there’s a certain… je ne sais quoi about having an official patent for a product that you’ve made. Suffice to say, RateFast is quite pleased that we have patented our product!

U.S. Patent No. 11,461,848. 
It tastes like honey to say it.

Given the occasion, we decided to take a look at what steps RateFast needed to take, in order to receive a patent from the USPTO.


The word “Novelty” is often attributed to something that has an unusual charm, like a novelty toy. We might refer to a fad as ‘novel’.

But in the case of the USPTO, novelty means that the submission is being evaluated for whether or not it’s new. After all, patents are meant to protect original ideas to the benefit of the creator.

The search for an existing patent doesn’t stop with the United States however. The patent office searches worldwide to see if a patent for a similar items exists. If a patent for a similar item to your patent exists in another country, it may void your submission. Same with any step of the patent process however, there may be errors. This is why some recommend that a person submitting a patent consult a patent lawyer.

RateFast is novel, because there exists no other patented service which aids in the writing of workers’ compensation reports. We’ve discussed the utility of RateFast in the otherwise technologically barren field of California workers’ comp.


The reason that we differentiate between copyrights and patents, is to make a distinction between the types of things that will serve a functional utility, vs. something that will be published. A design patent constitutes a merger of the two. The iconic design of the Coca Cola bottle is patented, for instance.

Since RateFast-in-a-Bottle doesn’t exist (yet), we just had to worry about the usefulness of our product.

Usefulness is crucial in the determination of patenting something, because there’s very little interest in protecting something that does not benefit peoples’ lives in any way. For example, if you invented a bicycle with square tires, the patent office may not deem it to be useful. Who knows, though. The author of this article doesn’t work for the USPTO!

RateFast is useful, because it streamlines the workers’ comp process, in a way that cohesively organizes the process of writing workers’ compensation impairment reports. Traditionally, providers in work comp are given very little training, if any, as to how to perform their duties. RateFast eases the expectation that workers’ comp providers need to know the AMA Guides front to back (which they often don’t, to little fault of their own) in order to quickly write accurate impairment reports.

Still, we do support educating work comp providers in the field as much as possible.


There’s a term you don’t hear every day.

Non-obviousness means that the item submitted for patenting may not have been formerly considered by a person by a Person Having Ordinary Skill in the Art (PHOSITA). This means that if you create a novel type of hammer, the PHOSITA may recognize it as obvious that it’s a hammer. Another example may be making a Swiss Army Knife that is twice as wide, containing twice as many tools. These are obvious, and therefore unlikely to be eligible for patenting.

As stated above, and in previous posts, workers’ compensation doctors don’t even have the proper training available to them which would teach them how to write good work comp reports. Often, there is so much guesswork involved that physicians will whittle down their technique for writing reports, until they can consistently ‘phone in’ a homogenous style of report that the insurance carrier will accept, regardless of the report’s true quality and accuracy*. That is to say, that there is very little obviousness in writing work comp reports to begin with. RateFast is meant to be the tool that makes workers’ compensation obvious.

*We attribute this, of course, to the lack of overall training in the field, not the work ethic of individual physicians.


Outside of the ramifications required for a patent outlined here, there’s a non-trivial amount of legalese involved in submitting a patent, and getting it approved. We are extremely proud of our achievement. It’s a testament to our hard work as a company, and our dedication to the vision of making workers’ comp more accessible and accurate to providers, so that all stakeholders have a work comp report that can be agreed upon.

Not to play our own horn… but ‘beep beep’.

RateFast Podcast: The McCoy Monarch Fund with Zach Griebel

This month we interview Hamline University undergrad Zach Griebel, who is a recipient of the McCoy Monarch Fund scholarship.

Zach tells us about his experience working with Hamline professors, and how the McCoy Monarch Fund assists Zach’s day-to-day life as a student.

If you’re a workers’ compensation provider, adjuster, or case manager check out RateFast Express: the service that writes your impairment reports for you!


RateFast Podcast: The Gates of Hell Pt. V – Hell and Workers’ Compensation

We have arrived at the conclusion of our series on Dante’s poem Inferno and Rodin’s sculpture The Gates of Hell where we finally explore the topic of how this relates to workers’ compensation.

Dr. John Alchemy and Cory Oleson explore the metaphor between the injured worker’s experience through a claim that is dragging on, and Dante’s experience going through hell.

It’s not all fire and brimstone, however. There could be a light at the end of the tunnel. To find out how, give this episode a listen!

If you’re a workers’ compensation provider, adjuster, or case manager check out RateFast Express: the service that writes your impairment reports for you!


Workers’ Compensation Hell: Getting Through to the Other Side

This post is based on a five-part podcast series that we did with art historian Paul Costa covering the topic Dante Alighieri, his seminal work Inferno, 1800s French sculptor Auguste Rodin, and his famous piece The Gates of Hell. We encourage you to check it out! 

Injured workers who have spent enough time stuck in the workers’ compensation system very well may refer to their experience with the process as hell. 

We’re referring to claims that have dragged on for 6 – 10 months and beyond. The harrowing experience of being stuck in the claim can be equal to, and sometimes worse, than the workplace injury itself.

Here we examine just how these work comp claims can be like hell, specifically from the perspective of Dante’s work, Inferno.

Continue reading Workers’ Compensation Hell: Getting Through to the Other Side

RateFast Podcast: When Zero Means More than Nothing

Expanding on the idea of 0% WPI in workers’ comp claims from previous episodes, Dr. John Alchemy takes this opportunity to elaborate that 0% WPI doesn’t necessarily mean that everything about the injury is ‘in the clear’.

If you’re a workers’ compensation provider, adjuster, or case manager check out RateFast Express: the service that writes your impairment reports for you!


The Gates of Hell Pt. IV – Auguste Rodin Building the Gates of Hell

Part IV of our podcast series on Dante’s Inferno, and Rodin’s Gates of Hell. Here we behold the gates in the flesh.

In this penultimate episode of our series, we travel with Historian of Italian art and owner of Tuscan Tour Guide,  Paul Costa, into the early 20th century to meet Auguste Rodin.

We learn about how Rodin interpreted Dante’s vision to sculpt his depiction of the Gates of Hell as described by Dante Alighieri. We learn some very interesting facts about the time period, and Rodin’s spiritual connection to the author of The Inferno.

If you’re a workers’ compensation provider, adjuster, or case manager check out RateFast Express: the service that writes your impairment reports for you!