Workers’ Compensation Doctors: Need To Know Facts

workers compensation doctors

What are Workers’ Compensation Doctors?

Workers’ compensation doctors are medical providers who provide medical care and treatment for recipients of NY Workers’ Compensation benefits. This includes doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, physicians’ assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses and other associated medical professionals.

The Workers’ Compensation Doctors' Role In Your Case

Workers’ compensation doctors are important to your workers’ compensation case. In addition to providing treatment for your injuries, workers’ compensation doctors assist in your return to work. Through medical reports and documenting your medical history and progress related to your workers’ compensation injuries, workers’ compensation doctors provide important evidence for your case.

When to See Workers’ Compensation Doctors

You should seek treatment from workers’ compensation doctors immediately after a work related injury or medical condition is recognized. Having a complete history of your work related medical condition will provide important evidence to your workers’ compensation case. Identifying a work related injury as soon as it happens and seeking medical treatment for this injury is important because it documents the progress of your health as it relates to your workers’ compensation claim.

If you believe you may have an injury or medical condition that relates to your work, you should talk to a workers’ compensation doctor as soon as possible, as they can evaluate if your condition was caused by your job. If you may have developed an occupational disease or illness, tell your doctor about the substances or chemicals that you work with. If you’re not sure about the specifics of the chemicals or substances you work with, you may be able to get this information from a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) that relates to the specific substances that are involved in your job.

Often, people don’t know they have a workers’ compensation claim until their doctor notices a condition is related to a patient’s occupation. For example, you may notice hand pain that keeps you up at night, but your doctor may be the one who identifies this as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that develops from your job as a secretary.

Workers’ Compensation Doctors & Pre-Existing Conditions

You should inform your doctor of any pre-existing conditions or history of injuries. Even if you’ve had a similar injury in the past, it’s very important to be honest with your doctor about your medical history. Your work related injury could have resulted in a permanent impairment that was not caused from prior injuries. If you don’t tell your workers’ compensation doctors about your past similar injuries, this can lead to greater problems later on in your case, such as allegations of fraudulent conduct. It’s important to be consistent, accurate and thorough with your documentation of prior injuries throughout your workers’ compensation claim, especially on forms, such as the C-3 Employee Claim form.

Choosing Your Workers’ Compensation Doctors

You have the right to choose your own workers’ compensation doctors, provided these workers’ compensation doctors are authorized by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.

Who Are Authorized Workers’ Compensation Doctors?

A list of authorized medical providers is available at the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board website.

What’s Expected of Your Workers’ Compensation Doctors?

Workers’ compensation doctors are required to report their findings through the use of New York Workers’ Compensation Board prescribed forms. Additionally, workers’ compensation doctors must comply with Medical Treatment Guidelines, such as pursuing variances and approvals when needed.

Covered Costs For Seeing Workers’ Compensation Doctors

Workers’ compensation can cover the cost of your work related injury’s prescriptions, medical supplies (like crutches or bandages), mileage to and from workers’ compensation doctor appointments and parking costs related to seeing your workers’ compensation doctors.

Workers’ compensation benefits also covers medical care that’s both causally and consequentially related to your work related injury. For example, if you’ve injured your knee in a fall at work, then injured your hand while rehabbing your work related knee injury, workers’ compensation can cover the related medical expenses for treating both your original knee injury as well as the subsequent hand injury.

Get Copies of Your Medical Reports From Your Workers’ Compensation Doctors

Your medical reports are a central part of your workers’ compensation claim. Because of this, you should get copies of your medical reports from your workers’ compensation doctors prior to filing your claim. This helps your case by providing medical evidence of your work related medical condition.

Workers’ Compensation Doctors & Independent Medical Exams (IME)

The insurance carrier involved in your workers’ compensation claim may have your work related injuries looked at by an Independent Medical Examiner (IME). Independent Medical Examiners are used to verify that your injuries or medical condition are caused by your job. Because of this, it’s very important to provide an IME with a comprehensive history of how your work related injury occurred and the results of that injury. The information you provide in the IME should be consistent with the information in your medical history. If this information has changed, it’s important to your case that you explain to the IME why this information has changed.

Have Questions? We're Here To Help. 

Workers’ compensation is complex. Knowing how to navigate requirements related to workers’ compensation doctors is very important to the success of your workers’ compensation claim.

For over 30 years, MCV Law’s workers’ compensation lawyers near Syracuse, NY have guided injured workers through the NY workers’ compensation process, making the process less confusing and stressful for our satisfied clients.

For a free initial consultation with our workers’ compensation lawyers, contact us.

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