We Can Answer Your Questions About Workers’ Comp Medical Treatment And Costs
Workers' Compensation Lawyer, Inc., has been fighting for the “Average Joe”® in California workers’ compensation cases for over a decade. Attorney Brian Freeman has been helping injured workers throughout southern California for over a decade.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about medical treatment and costs under California’s workers’ compensation laws.
What Medical Costs Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Coverage for all medical expenses related to your work injury is available through the workers’ compensation system. Although the cost of treatment will most likely account for the majority of your expenses, the cost of items such as drugs and medical devices can also be covered by workers’ compensation benefits. You should be able to get the best care you possibly can with your workers’ compensation benefits. Our lawyers will help you get the benefits you deserve and the treatment you need.
Workers’ compensation benefits can cover medical costs such as:
- Hospital and doctor bills
- In-home care
- Medical devices
- Transportation to and from medical appointments
- Physical therapy
Can I Choose My Own Doctor To Treat My Work Injury?
Injured employees are generally not permitted to receive medical treatment from their typical medical provider. To receive coverage for your medical bills, you will need to visit a doctor who has been approved by your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance company. After reporting your work injury, you should be provided with a list of approved medical providers. If your injuries require emergency treatment, you can visit any doctor or hospital of your choice to ensure you are cared for as soon as possible – your emergency treatment should be covered through your workers’ compensation claim.
Treatment from a medical provider selected by an injured worker is typically only allowed if the doctor has been pre-designated. To pre-designate a doctor of your choice, you must have them approved before you become injured. Typically, this is done shortly after an employee is first hired. Pre-designation generally involves getting approval from your doctor, providing their information to your employer, and having the doctor approved by your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance company. Once the process is completed, your doctor will be appointed as your chosen medical provider to treat you in case of a work-related injury.
How Will My Medical Care Be Covered After A Work Injury?
Workers’ compensation benefits should provide full coverage for any medical care you receive to treat a work-related injury. All of your medical expenses should be covered if you received treatment from a pre-approved doctor – even the treatment you receive before your claim is resolved. If your injuries required emergency treatment and you were unable to visit a pre-approved medical provider for your initial treatment, the expenses should eventually be covered through your worker’ compensation claim.
What Is An Independent Medical Review?
During the course of your workers’ compensation case, you may need to participate in an independent medical review (also known as an independent medical examination). Independent medical reviews are generally requested if there is a dispute about an injured employee’s medical condition, such as the severity of their injuries or the type of treatment that is appropriate.
Injured employees and their legal representation can request an independent medical review; reviews are sometimes requested by employers and their workers’ compensation insurance companies as well. The exams are conducted by a doctor other than the provider who has been treating the injured employee previously. The process is a way to get another expert perspective on the employee’s injuries and treatment.
How Are Medical Costs Covered Before A Claim Is Resolved?
The workers’ compensation laws in California permit injured employees up to $10,000 in medical coverage while their claim is still pending. Additionally, by receiving treatment from a pre-approved doctor, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company agrees that your initial treatment will be covered. Their approval of your claim provides coverage for any subsequent medical expenses, in addition to other benefits.