New WC Medical Protocols Starting 7/1

06.03.2012
HR & Safety

The state Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) has updated its medical protocols for treatment of job-related injuries to the lumbar spine and cervical spine. The revisions, done in consultation with practitioners, insurers, and the Medical Advisory Board, reflect the latest changes in the medical field regarding new procedures, treatments, and diagnostic tests.

The Commission has also created protocols for opioid management, having recognized that some workers may require opioids for the management of their acute and chronic pain. Proper opioid management is essential for the safe and efficient care of injured workers.

The effective date for the revised protocols is July 1, 2012. The Commission will use them to evaluate whether a treatment is reasonable and appropriate based on the diagnosis of injury or illness.

These protocols are not meant to be absolute, says the Commission. Medical providers are urged to contact the insurer if they feel that a treatment pattern other than the published protocol is required. It is expected that the payer will work with the provider to ensure that the injured worker receives the most appropriate treatment.

The Commission, along with practitioners, insurers, and the Medical Advisory Panel, is currently working on updates to the medical protocols for treatment of injuries to the shoulder, knee, and hand. They will be published upon completion.

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