Our work injury treatment program focuses on the following four parts to ensure that our patients receive proper treatment, disability benefits and compensation for their work-related injuries that they are entitled to, if applicable.
- Establishing Injured Body Parts
- Medical Treatment Guidelines
- Return the Worker to Pre-Injury Status
- Permanent Impairment Rating
1. Establishing Injured Body Part
New York State Workers’ Compensation laws dictate that when a worker is injured, all injuries must be reported and accepted by the Workers’ Compensation Board for the worker to receive treatment and benefits. However, if the worker is fails to report all injuries, or if the doctor fails to identify all injuries, the worker would not be able to receive treatment or benefits for missed injuries. At our office, we conduct a very careful physical examination on the first visit to make sure we discover all injuries, and we make sure to report all of them to the Workers’ Compensation Board. This way, the worker is entitled to receive all of the treatment and benefit he or she is entitled to under the New York State Workers’ Compensation laws.
2. Medical Treatment Guideline
In diagnosing and treating work-related injuries, doctors must follow Medical Treatment Guidelines established by the Workers’ Compensation Board. The Medical Treatment Guidelines are very complicated and exhaustive clinical rules that outline exactly what kind of treatment and test are allowed for specific injuries. If a worker goes to a doctor who is not familiar with the Medical Treatment Guidelines, it is very likely that the worker will not get the full treatment and benefits he or she is entitled to, because the doctor will have a very difficult time navigating the Medical Treatment Guidelines. Also, if the worker needs a test or treatment that is not part of the Medical Treatment Guidelines, the doctor would need to request for it in a very specific way. If the doctor is not familiar with the process, it will take hours for the doctor to shift through the Medical Treatment Guidelines to figure what to do. The likely outcome is that the doctor would just give up on completing the request. At our office, we are very familiar with the Medical Treatment Guidelines. Our patients can rest assured that they will receive the full treatment and the benefits they are entitled to according to the Medical Treatment Guidelines.
3. Return the Worker to
The goal of injured workers and the doctors who treat them is to return the worker to pre-injury status and have them return to work. At our office, we try to have the worker recovered as much as possible before returning to work. It is our goal to have the worker not only return to work, but be able to continue working without getting injured again. We educate the returning workers on how to avoid new injury by avoiding potentially provocative movement and positions, and give recommendation on modifying the work environment. We also communicate with the employers to give suggestions on what kind of accommodation is needed for the returning worker.
4. Permanent Impairment Rating
Sometimes, a work injury can be so severe or chronic that it never recovers. The worker may never be able to return to the original work due to the injury. When an injury is treated as much as possible and enough time has passed, the doctor may decide that the injury has reached Maximum Medical Improvement, or MMI. MMI means that the worker’s injury is now permanent and it is not expected to significantly improve despite continued treatment. At that time, the doctor can give a rating on how severe the worker’s permanent injury is by following a very detailed impairment guideline established by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. The doctor’s familiarity with the impairment guideline is very important, because the impairment rating that the doctor assigns to the injury is used to calculate the worker’s compensation for the permanent injury. The insurance company responsible for paying the worker’s compensation will most likely challenge the doctor’s impairment rating. If the doctor cannot jusify the impairment rating, the worker’s compensation would most likely be negatively affected. At our office, we are very familiar with the impairment rating process. We have performed many impairment ratings for our Workers’ Compensation patients successfully. Our patients can rest assured that their impairment ratings will be performed correctly.