Seeking Medical Benefits Through Workers’ Compensation

In Atlanta, most workers are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance compensates workers who are injured by paying income and medical benefits during the time they are recovering from an injury and are unable to complete their job duties. Medical benefits are an extremely important component of workers’ compensation, especially for serious injuries. Although medical expenses are covered under the insurance, workers should be careful to follow the regulations for receiving treatment for injuries set forth by the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act, or they may risk losing benefits altogether. If you have questions about medical benefits or are having trouble having your medical expenses paid after a workplace injury, you should speak to a workers’ compensation attorney. Here are some of the key points that every Atlanta worker should know about medical benefits through workers’ compensation.

Panel of Physicians

When a worker is injured in Georgia, the law requires that his or her employer pay for the appropriate medical treatment and rehabilitation necessary for the worker to recover as fully as medically possible. However, a worker cannot see his or her personal physician or any physician of his/her choosing. In order to have their medical expenses paid for, an injured worker must select an authorized treating physician from a panel of physicians chosen by the worker’s employer. This panel is listed on an official notice that must be posted in the work. According to the law, this panel of physicians must consist of a minimum of six physicians, professional associations, or corporations of physicians that are reasonably accessible to employees for treatment. Additional requirements for the panel include:
  • At least one physician must be an orthopedic surgeon;
  • One must be a minority physician; and
  • No more than two can be physicians from industrial clinics.
The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation also has the authority to make adjustments and exceptions when situations warrant them. In some cases, the injured worker may choose from a conformed panel which includes ten physicians or a Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization offering a larger selection of physicians.

Emergency Cases

If an injured worker neglects to follow the rules regarding authorized treating physicians, the employer is no longer held responsible for medical expenses. The exception is for emergency treatment. During true emergency situations, the injured worker may receive medical care from the nearest emergency location available. Once the emergency is over, however, the worker must continue treatment with one of a doctor from the list provided by their employer. When injuries require surgery, the treating doctor will be in contact with the employer or Workers’ compensation provider. They will make the appropriate arrangements and referrals to ensure that the medical staff performing the surgery are in compliance with workers’ compensation rules.

For Help With Medical Benefits, Talk to a Qualified Attorney

Work injuries that are serious enough to require extended medical treatment often require the help of a workers’ compensation attorney. Call Workers Compensation Lawyers for a free consultation and to learn more about the medical benefits available to you after your workplace injury. Dial 678-504-6565 today!]]>