New York Workers’ Compensation Board Making Improvements For Injured Workers
Injured workers often face barriers and delays when it comes to getting the medical treatment and benefits they need following a workplace accident. Each state has its own laws and requirements when it comes to treating injured workers and allowing them to receive benefits. Many states have issues with claim approvals, access to medical treatment and incomplete paperwork. Fortunately, New York is looking to do something about these issues and improve the workers’ compensation claims process for all involved.
The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has proposed several improvements that will hopefully reduce stress for injured workers and claims processors. According to the state board, access to quality care is a primary concern. That’s because when a worker is able to heal quickly, it results in better outcomes for the worker, employer and state board. The worker is able to recover and go back to work. The employer benefits by having the employee back to work quickly without the need to hire additional staff. Plus, the state board saves money because the quicker the injured worker is able to go back to work, the fewer benefits that need to be paid out.
However, many injured workers are currently unable to find the medical care they need because very few medical providers participate in New York’s workers’ compensation program. This is due to low reimbursement rates and a complex administration system that is prone to causing headaches. By fixing these issues, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board hopes that more providers will participate and offer proper medical care to injured workers.
To accomplish this, the state board plans to increase reimbursement rates. These rates have not increased much since 1996—more than 20 years ago. Therefore, rates will increase for services rendered after October 1, 2018. This will include even higher rates of reimbursement for specialty providers. This will help provide fair reimbursement to all New York medical providers.
Complex paperwork requirements have also led providers to avoid workers’ compensation claims. Hopefully this burden will be eliminated with the conversion to the CMS-1500. This universal claim form is already used to bill health insurance companies. The state board hopes to implement this form for workers’ compensation use by January 1, 2019.
A new medical portal is also in the works to inform providers as to whether or not treatment is on course with the board’s guidelines. The board also hopes to expand the network of providers who can treat injured workers. Right now, only physicians, podiatrists, chiropractor and psychologists are authorized.
Contact Us for More Information About Workers’ Compensation Benefits
It is hopeful that these changes will help injured workers receive the medical care they need so they can recover and get back to work as quickly as possible. However, it can still be difficult for those injured in the workplace to receive benefits. This can make it difficult to take care of daily expenses.
If you are facing delays in receiving your workers’ compensation benefits, seek legal help. The Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon in White Plains has many years of experience helping injured workers like yourself deal with denials and appeal. To learn more about your options, call (914) 294-2145 to schedule a consultation.