March 25, 2020
Doctors in Georgia are having to make difficult decisions that no medical provider should ever have to make — which patients should receive priority medical care during the coronavirus pandemic.
Doctors aren’t canceling treatment relating to the virus. However, they are delaying other medical treatment, such as surgeries and physical therapy because of the social distancing restrictions issued last week. The federal government stated that all non-essential medical and dental procedures should be delayed.
This directly affects the workers’ compensation system as medical treatment for countless injured workers across the state and the nation are being cancelled.
When an individual is injured on the job, they are entitled to 3 main areas of benefits.
The first area is medical treatment for that injured body part. The injured worker has the right to select a doctor from the panel of physicians provided by the employer. This doctor not only provides care, but also determines the work status of the injured worker and assigns a permanent partial impairment rating.
If the injured worker is either taken out of work by the authorized treating physician or placed on restrictions that the employer cannot accommodate, indemnity benefits should be commenced. With the current situation, it may be difficult to actually get in to see a doctor so they can evaluate an injured worker and determine what their work status may be.
Additionally, if the injury is not traumatic, such as a fractured bone, they may not be able to operate now. Therefore, an individual with a torn rotator cuff or an ACL tear may have to continue to suffer in pain until the virus is over.
If you have a question about medical treatment for your work-related injury, don’t hesitate to contact the Atlanta attorneys at Gerber & Holder.
Advocating for injured workers throughout the state of Georgia
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