According to the New York Workers’ Compensation Alliance Law Blog, it is estimated that the implications of the Workers’ Compensation Board Medical Treatment Guidelines, that have been intacked for over a year, costs employer’s $60 million per year. The blog goes on to state that payment for the requested medical procedure, which are adjudicated under the Treatment Guidelines, would be cheaper than the costs of implementing the Guidelines and would result in a high percentage of denials for treatment.
From a practitioner’s standpoint, the entire process is absurd. It emphasizes form over substance and is clearly designed with the main purpose being to save employers money. The end result is a wholesale denial of necessary medical care for the injured worker.
Given the current financial outlook in New York State, it’s no wonder that the Legislature has chosen to side for cutting costs to employers at the expense of severely diminishing the injured workers’ right to secure necessary medical treatment. Hopefully, as time goes on, the hidden agenda will be exposed and the Guidelines repealed. For the time being, injured workers can expect to continue to receive denials from the Workers’ Compensation Board for medical care that their own doctors feels is necessary and appropriate.