Are workers comp patients treated differently?

What orthopedic surgeons need to know about treating workers comp patients and why it really doesn’t matter.

A fascinating journal article was re-posted on OrthoSpineNews last week. It was written by Dr. William J. Holt and gives his perspective on treating workers comp patients. The article also provides a nice overview of the different players in the workers comp system.

Dr. Holt points out that workers comp patients deserve the same level of care that any other patient would receive. He also warns of employers and insurers who attempt to dictate care. Dr. Holt says orthopedic surgeons should not shy away from treating workers comp patients but they should be aware of how the system works.

Many people face discrimination when seeking medical treatment under workers comp. This comes from medical professionals, employers, and even the general public. Misconceptions about the system often fuel this prejudice.

Fighting misconceptions

Workers comp is a type of insurance that almost all employers in the State of Michigan are required to purchase. It is designed to protect both employers and employees in the event of a workplace accident.

Benefits are paid regardless of fault but are limited to lost wages, medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation. Pain and suffering is not available. No taxpayer dollars are used and it is not welfare.

The majority of people simply want to get back to work. It is difficult supporting a family on just 60% of pay. Insurance companies can even use imaginary wages to offset these weekly payments. Some people find their benefits disputed and receive no weekly checks at all. A good faith job search is also required as a condition of receiving lost wages. Refusing a job within restrictions results in a loss of benefits.

Patients have the right to select their own doctor after 28 days. All reasonable and necessary medical care must be paid. Insurance company denials should be challenged in court.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

Medical bills under workers comp after a work injury

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by medisave.

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