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Medical Treatment Guidelines

I’m New York disability attorney, Brian Mittman.  A very interesting topic has recently shown up in the world of New York Workers’ Compensation that affects every single case, whether it’s twenty years old or twenty seconds old.  It’s called the Medical Treatment Guidelines. 

In 2007, former Governor Spitzer passed sweeping Workers’ Compensation legislation.  Part of that legislation was to reduce costs and improve the speed of medical care for injured workers, a very noble cause.  However, the implementation has been absolutely horrific.  If you are experiencing any type of work-related injury, you have already started to experience the Medical Treatment Guidelines.

It is a thick book of specific treatments that doctors must or can only perform for your neck, your back, your shoulder, and your knee, when injured in New York.  And, every day, they’re adding additional body parts.  These guidelines can severely limit the type of treatment that your doctor may want to do.

Now, I’m no doctor, and some of the treatment guidelines are very good and they get treatment to people really quickly.  However, there are really silly, silly things such as physical therapy.  Normally, if your doctor wants to have physical therapy or additional physical therapy, he or she will request that, and you go to your physical therapist.  In the past, the insurance company had thirty days to respond.  Now, there is a series of complex forms that the doctor must fill out, not the physical therapist, that have to be sent to the Workers’ Comp board, sent to the insurance company; they have certain timelines, and all these other crazy limitations, all over six or eight additional sessions.  It really has become quite a nightmare for a lot of injured workers, who rely on that medical care to actually keep working.   If you have any questions about the Medical Treatment Guidelines and how it may affect your case or your rights, feel free to give us a call at the office or check out one of our free consumer guides here on our website.  Thank you.

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