New York fails to update list of doctors who accept workers’ compensation

The New York Workers’ Compensation Board has failed to maintain an accurate list of providers, causing problems for injured workers.

Following a workplace injury in New York, employees are encouraged to seek medical care. According to the New York Workers' Compensation Board, anyone who is injured is permitted to choose any physician that the board has on its approved list. The exception is if the company's insurance carrier has a provider it prefers, in which case the worker must go there.

However, a recent report from NBC New York notes that the board has failed to keep its list of approved medical providers updated. This has led to problems for people who are seeking care.

The issue

A New York man who works at a grocery store fell from a ladder. As a result, he suffered bleeding in one of his eyes and today, years later, is still in severe pain. He has spent the past four years searching for a doctor who can remove blood from his eye. He has called the 64 ophthalmologists featured on a list from the WCB with no luck and cannot return to work until the situation is resolved.

The WCB has a website on which someone who experiences an on-the-job injury can locate a physician who accepts workers' compensation insurance. However, NBC notes that this list has not been updated. Investigators from the news station called 64 eye doctors found on the website and discovered that two-thirds of them do not accept workers' compensation benefits. Fortunately, the NBC team did find two clinics that may be able to help the injured employee in question.

A flawed system?

A year ago, NPR and ProPublica collaborated on a study that analyzed workers' compensation programs across the state. New York, researchers found, has reduced benefits extended to people who suffer permanent partial disabilities by as much as 20 percent.

In addition to making it harder for workers to get the benefits they need, NBC reports that dozens of physicians are leaving the workers' compensation program in New York. According to one physician, the phenomenon is taking place because regulators from the state and insurance providers try to control the medical process. Every medication, diagnosis or test is questioned, he said.

What injured workers can do

Despite these shortcomings, it is still vital that someone who is injured or ill due to employment should seek a workers' compensation lawyer immediately. The WCB notes that anyone who has issues finding a physician should contact the board. If you need the assistance of a workers' compensation attorney, call Turley, Redmond, Rosasco & Rosasco, LLP today for a Free Case Evaluation!

Further, people whose claims have been denied or who feel they have not received benefits to which they are entitled to have options. The WCB states that these people can file an appeal.

Anyone who has concerns surrounding this issue should consult with a workers' compensation attorney in New York.