No one argues with the need for treatment after a work injury. However, who you get treatment from may not be entirely your decision.
In 1994, Kentucky moved to a managed care system for workers’ compensation. This means that every employer in Kentucky chooses a Managed Care Organization (MCO) to handle their workers’ compensation claims. The choice of treatment provider then comes from that list.
Why does this system exist?
Kentucky passed this amendment to the law as part of a cost-cutting measure. The intended effect of using a managed care system is to control how much is spent on medical costs. As most are aware, the US has some of the highest medical costs in the world. The thought is, by centralizing the process, the costs are controllable.
What does this mean for injured workers?
The entire system is complicated, but the bottom line for workers is that, mostly, they most choose their treatment provider from a pre-selected list. However, this does lead to some uneasiness for those filing workers’ compensation regarding their:
- Privacy: Is your information or information you share with this doctor confidential?
- Treatment: Will this provider act in your best interest or your employer’s?
Both of those concerns come down to a matter of trust. Do you trust that your doctor or a doctor chosen by your employer, will do right by you?
If you worry about trusting your privacy, you should take some comfort in knowing that sharing medical information is prohibited by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).
You should put your interests first
Despite how much you do or do not trust in the list that you’ll need to select your healthcare provider from, you do not need to go it alone. With an experienced, compassionate workers’ compensation attorney, you can get the results you need and protect your rights.