If you were injured while at work in New York, then you should be able to receive worker’s compensation. Part of that compensation will pay for orthopedic treatment, as well as the other necessary medical treatments to help you heal.
Orthopedic doctors are specialists who focus on treating the musculoskeletal system. They are also called orthopedists. Orthopedists most commonly treat the ligaments, tendons, bones, and muscles. One set of data for the United States shows that there are over 30,500 orthopedic surgeons.
While many orthopedic doctors choose to treat a range of orthopedic conditions, others prefer to specialize. Some focus on treating the spine while others focus on the arms or legs or just the hands or feet. That same data set just mentioned found that around half of orthopedic surgeons in the United States have a sub-specialty. Of these specialties, knee replacement, hand surgery, and sports medicine are the most common.
You will not have to worry about paying out of pocket for your orthopedic treatment following a worker’s compensation injury, as this should be included in your compensation. As long as the injury in question requires an orthopedic doctor to treat it, this should be covered. In some states, the panel of physicians for workers’ compensation must include an orthopedic doctor.
The critical thing to remember is that the workers’ compensation insurance company must pay for your treatment, provided it is ‘reasonable and necessary.” Some states, however, have caveats or limitations. In Georgia, for example, they do not need to pay for treatment for more than 400 weeks. That particular restriction does not affect most people with workers’ comp injuries, which is the case for many other conditions in other states.
In New York, you have to make sure that your doctor is an authorized provider by NYS Workers’ Compensation Board.
Knowing that you are unlikely to have to pay for much, if any, of your orthopedic treatment is essential, given the high costs of workers’ comp claims. The average cost of claims from 2017 to 2018 was around $41,000, so it is reassuring to know you will not have to pay that out of pocket.
Whether you get to choose your orthopedic doctor will depend on where you live and the worker’s compensation policy that your employer has.
In New York, generally, you can choose your own doctors if you were injured on the job. In some rare cases, there will be a shortlist or panel of potential doctors that you have to choose from. In this situation, it may seem that you would have to choose an orthopedist on the list. But there is a way around this in many cases. You could instead choose a different approved doctor and have them refer you to the orthopedic doctor of your choice.
In other situations, your employer or worker’s compensation insurance may not have a shortlist for you to choose from. In this case, you get to select your orthopedic doctor, although there still might be some restrictions.
What happens if you choose an orthopedic doctor and then decide you do not like their manner or do not see an improvement? You can change orthopedists, even if workers’ comp insurance is paying for your treatment. There are usually specific steps you would have to take to switch doctors. You may have to show that their treatment is not working, and you may have limitations as to the new doctor you can choose.
The orthopedic treatment that you receive from your doctor is different for every injury. It is common for orthopedists to use diagnostic imaging like MRIs and X-rays to learn more about your injuries before suggesting a treatment.
Treatment commonly includes medications for pain and inflammation, injections, and physical therapy. Surgery is also a possibility, although most orthopedists try other treatments first due to the potential risks associated with any invasive procedure.
If you were injured in a work-related accident in New York and are looking for an experienced orthopedist near you call 1-800-897-8440 today.
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