Your employer's workers compensation insurer has asked you to participate in a videoconference with one of their doctors to get a second opinion on your condition. You may feel skeptical about this. In reality, being asked by workers comp to receive a second evaluation is relatively common, and the use of videoconferencing in medicine is increasingly frequent.
The Rise of Telemedicine
Telemedicine primarily involves videoconferencing with a doctor instead of going to a clinic for an appointment. This isn't fringe medicine anymore; as of August 2014, U.S. doctors are serving some 12 million patients through telemedicine. It's generally considered an adjunct service to be combined with in-person diagnostics and treatment.
In workers comp, the patient usually sees a doctor in person first and then may receive a second consultation and evaluation by video chat.
Workers compensation insurance carriers typically can lower their costs by using telemedicine. There are also some advantages for you as the patient.
Advantages for You
Less Travel Time
If you live in an urban area, you may not have to worry about traveling far to see a doctor for a second opinion. Nevertheless, going to a doctor's office or clinic often is inconvenient, especially if you're dealing with a work injury.
If you live in a rural region, you may have trouble getting an appointment with a physician in a timely manner. A shortage of primary care doctors has left many rural locales relying on nurse practitioners and physician assistants for the most part. Also, if the insurer wants you to consult with a specialist, there simply may not be one practicing in your area.
Reduced Wait Time
That increasing shortage of primary care doctors—especially when you need one in a workers compensation network—can mean you must wait a relatively long time for an appointment. When you can't start receiving payments until your claim is approved, you don't want to wait several weeks to see a doctor for a second opinion.
Convenient Monitoring of Your Condition
You might be able to have the workers comp doctor continue to monitor your condition remotely rather than seeing a doctor in person. The two of you can talk through video chat as the doctor checks your improvement. You'll describe how you're feeling and answer questions. This physician can clear you to go back to work when you're fully recovered.
You may want to contact a workers compensation lawyer from a firm like Neifert Byrne & Ozga to make sure telemedicine is a good option for you. Even though this type of care is becoming more prevalent, you want to be certain the insurer isn't attempting to skimp on your health care. Workers comp attorneys often offer free consultations, so don't hesitate to make a phone call.Share
29 April 2015
When I was injured in a slip and fall accident a few years ago, my family and friends had a hard time relating to the things I was going through. While some people thought that my decision to file a lawsuit was frivolous, others were under the impression that I would walk away as a millionaire. Their lack of personal experience with this type of legal problem left me feeling alone during one of the most difficult times in my life. That is why I decided to start this blog so that accident victims from all over would have somewhere to come to get the information and support that they need. I truly hope that this page can be that place for you.