A recent report by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute, published in September, had startling statistics that could significantly alter the outcomes of Workers’ Comp claims. Among them: Fees for professional services in Workers’ Comp cases paid in 2012 were lower in New York State than the 25 states included, and overall, as of July 2011, NYS Workers’ Comp fees were just 15% above Medicare, the lowest of the 42 states that reported. The current fee structure has not been adjusted since 1996.
There’s more. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has found that every state that has adopted a low fee schedule has shown low rate of orthopedic and neurological participation in workers’ compensation.
Injured workers need specialists like orthopedists, neurologists, physiatrists and pain management practitioners. Lacking their availability, workers may instead seek help from their general care physician. These doctors, in turn, may not accept Workers’ Comp fees, and most alarmingly, are likely to be inexperienced in treating these injuries.
At EMD Law, we’re concerned with the shrinking number of rheumatologists and neurologists who will accept Workers’ Comp cases in the Capital Region. As specialists drop out of the program, peoples’ access to medical care, and the quality of care will decrease. As part of the ripple effect, it will be increasingly difficult for Workers’ Compensation attorneys like us, to win cases and get injured workers the payments they deserve.
We will continue to keep you updated on this issue in future blog posts. If you’re looking for experienced Workers’ Comp attorneys, contact us today.