Injured workers are entitled to receive authorized medical treatment for their injuries sustained on the job. When seeking treatment, the worker must report that the injury occurred on the job. The health care provider will have the forms necessary to initialize the claimant's medical treatment as an on the job injury. The injured worker can usually see a doctor or health care provider, including pharmacy, of their choosing.
In an on the job injury, the employee's treatment does not have to be from a medical doctor. For example, if an employee sustained a back injury while unloading boxes at work, they may elect to seek treatment from a chiropractor or acupuncturist. No referral is needed. The health care provider may be able to refer the injured worker, as needed for additional examination or treatment, such as physical therapy or massage.
Prescription medication, from the pharmacy of the employee's choosing, is also usually covered under workers compensation insurance coverage.
The amount of medical treatment an injured worker receives is generally indicative of the severity of their injury. The majority of injured workers require just a few visits to a health care provider for their injuries. However, more serious injuries can require months or even years of treatment to reach a point of medical stability, or the point of maximum recovery. When a worker suffers a permanent injury, there are still limitations as to the amount of treatment they can receive, which will be paid for by workers compensation coverage.
It is recommended that injured workers seek counsel from a workers' compensation attorney when their claim or medical treatment is denied. If the claim is denied or has already settled, the injured worker will be responsible for payment of all future medical needs. With the increasing cost of medical expenses, claimants should be very careful not to settle their claims prematurely.