The workers’ compensation system in Oklahoma requires employers to provide medical treatment to injured workers. Employers are basically required to prove any form of medical service that the employee needs to recover from his work-related injury. In some cases, the employer must continue to provide medical services even after the injured worker has reached maximum medical improvement. Here’s what you should know about continuing medical maintenance:
What is Continuing Medical Maintenance?
An employer’s obligation to provide medical treatment typically ends once an injured worker has been awarded permanent disability benefits. However, the exception to this rule is when the injured worker has been awarded continuing medical maintenance.
Continuing medical maintenance is medical treatment that the injured worker needs to maintain his condition after reaching maximum medical improvement. If the treatment is needed prior to reaching maximum medical improvement, it is not classified as continuing medical maintenance.
For example, let’s say you are injured at work and receive months of treatment before finally reaching maximum medical improvement. Years later, you discover that you need additional treatment for the same injury. If you were awarded continuing medical maintenance, your employer would cover the cost of this treatment. Continuing medical maintenance covers these expenses since the treatment is directly related to the initial injury and is necessary in order to maintain your physical condition.
Continuing medical maintenance does not cover medical services such as physical therapy, pain management devices, or mental health counseling. This means your employer is not required to cover the cost of these services once you have reached maximum medical improvement.
How to Obtain Continuing Medical Maintenance
Continuing medical maintenance is not awarded in every workers’ compensation case, so there is no guarantee that you will receive it. The Workers’ Compensation Commission only awards continuing medical maintenance to injured workers when a physician or independent medical examiner recommends it. The physician or independent medical examiner will get an opportunity to evaluate the injured worker once he has reached maximum medical improvement. After the evaluation, the doctor or independent medical examiner will tell the commission if continuing medical maintenance is needed.
Have you been injured at work? If so, the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. can help. We will go above and beyond to ensure you receive the compensation you need to move forward after a devastating work-related injury. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.