Determining factors when an injured worker can return to work
There are many factors that help a board certified workers compensation doctor determine whether a worker is ready to go back to work or not. The objective is to ensure that the injured worker has fully recovered from his or her injuries avoiding any activity that causes an increase in their pre-existing pain from their work injury.
Light duty that pays an employees regular wage as opposed to being away from work rather then time off of work and receiving two-thirds of the employees weekly wage from Worker’s Compensation is the ideal scenario. The right medical doctor can negotiate return-to-work with lite duty (preferably their original job) and get the employee back in the work place.
According to New York State rules apply to the treatment, doctors review, etc… So, therapy visits, surgery, treatment will be determining factors in return-to-work decisions. For more information on medical benefits, visit the New York State Workers’ Compensation webpage Medical Benefits. The claim process follows a specific time line for all parties (i.e., doctors, employer, employee, carrier, etc.). Details can be found on the New York State Workers’ Compensation webpage Understanding the Claims Process. Treating physicians often times will assist in filing the right claim paperwork.
The doctor will also provide a written release that includes any restrictions on work activities. The restrictions, if any, will be reviewed with the employer to determine if they can be accommodated prior to the worker’s return to work.
Treating physicians that are board certified will focus on return to work at the first visit. For instance an employee has an ankle injury, the doctor will clearly state the objective of modified light duty, and after treatment, returning to work within six weeks. In setting up clear objectives in the first initial visit, the workers exceptions will match with treatment recommendations.
Choosing the right physician, that has a return to work mission, that accommodates injured workers, taking them back on light duty is the choice of both employer and employees. getting injured workers back to work as quickly as possible, in their normal routine, interacting with their co-workers and getting paid is the objective.
David Delman, MD. an orthopedic, pain management physician in New York with 2 non-operative pain clinic locations in NYC and Brooklyn, NY is board certified in internal medicine and emergency medicine.
Dr. Delman completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York.
Dr. Delman is a member of the American Academy of Pain Management with over 15 years of experience as an emergency department physician diagnosing and treating thousands of trauma patients during both the acute phase and rehabilitation phase of their injuries. His unique background benefits his patients by going beyond the traditional evaluations of the musculoskeletal system.