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February, 2008:

What medical benefits must a company provide to be compliant with Georgia Workers’ Compensation Law?

Georgia law requires an employer to maintain a list or panel of six (6) different physicians, professional associations or corporations of physicians that an employee must select from to treat his on the job injury. Georgia law requires that one of the six physicians must be an orthopedic surgeon who specializes with hand and upper extremity injures; and no more than two (2) professional associations or corporations of physicians can be industrial clinics.

The Board further stresses that if the company is located in an area where it is feasible, minority physicians should be included as an option. This being said, there are options for the injured employee who is not satisfied with his employer’s options.

Under Georgia law an employee may switch physicians for treatment purposes one time without anyone’s permission. This new physician becomes the new authorized treating physician for workers’ compensation purposes. All subsequent medical referrals will generally flow through this new physician to make sure that all medical care is coordinated.

Georgia workers’ compensation law recognizes “life time” treatment for the work related injury. The Employer is responsible for treatment, mileage reimbursement, therapy, and prescription medication as long they have been prescribed the authorized physician as being related to the occupational injury.

For more information, please contact Bryan Ramos.