After an on-the-job injury, getting timely medical care is essential. You do not want a delay in your treatment as this could interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment and could result in your condition getting worse. This could make it difficult or impossible to fully recover and get back to work. Unfortunately, when workers’ compensation is paying for your care, there could be situations where approval of essential treatment is delayed. This can be frustrating for patients and doctors and can cause serious damage to recovery efforts.
If you are being denied timely care that you need for a work injury, you have rights. You should talk with an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer to find out what options, if any, you have for making sure you can get the treatment you need when your doctor says you need it.
Delays in Medical Care Under Atlanta Workers’ Comp Could Harm Patients
NBC reported on the problems that patients were experiencing with delays in medical care that was supposed to be covered through workers’ compensation. NBC indicates the problems are primarily impacting patients who have more complicated and prolonged injuries. Some of these workers find the workers’ compensation system feels like: “a morass of delays and denials.”
One troubling case, for example, involved a highway patrol officer who became involved in an accident with an intoxicated driver. Since the accident, the officer has experienced chronic neck and back pain. He has been struggling for months with his discomfort and with ongoing efforts to get workers’ comp to cover all of the long-term care he needs. His doctors have reportedly made more than 300 different requests for medication and treatment. Some of the requests were denied outright, and others took months to approve. He was even denied coverage for a $30 heating pad that provides some relief from his pain, and was forced to buy the heating pad for himself to be able to cope with his discomfort.
Other frustrated workers told NBC about similar problems, with their physicians commenting that “reviewing doctors often work to advance the interests of the insurance company that’s employing them, not the patient.” Hundreds of workers have filed thousands of complaints about the lengthy process of getting treatment approved. Even worse, many doctors have actually begun to stop taking patients who are seeking treatment under workers’ comp because of the problems getting paid.
While the problem in these particular cases was occurring because of issues with the review process put in place under California laws reforming workers’ compensation, there are injured workers throughout the United States- including in Georgia- who struggle to get their care costs covered when they need them. If you are one of those patients who is having a difficult time getting a workers’ comp insurer to approve care you need, you should get legal help as soon as possible.
Parsons & Associates, P.C. is an Atlanta workers’ compensation law firm serving Atlanta, Savannah, and surrounding areas throughout Fulton County. Contact Parsons & Associates, P.C. today at 770-422-9000 or contact us online if you have been injured at work.