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New York Workers’ Compensation Board revises Medical Treatment Guidelines effective March 1, 2013:

The New York Workers’ Compensation Board has implemented revisions and additions to the 2010 Medical Treatment Guidelines as of March 1, 2013. Perhaps the most important change to these Guidelines includes a provision that will allow for 10 annual sessions of “maintenance care” for claimants who have reached maximum medical improvement. For our clients who have been classified with a permanent partial or permanent total disability, this is a significant development. Whereas the original Guidelines eliminated any and all “palliative” care, “chronic care” or any other treatment in excess of those limited durations of treatment permitted in the original 2010 Guidelines, now claimants with permanent injuries will be entitled to a modicum of respect in the form of 10 sessions of physical therapy, chiropractic care or other forms of “maintenance care”. The revision does not permit 10 sessions of each type of maintenance care; it allows for a combination of the different types of maintenance care not to exceed a total of 10 sessions. This is a much-welcomed relaxation of the original Guidelines and a tacit recognition that claimants with permanent injuries can benefit from ongoing care.

Another massive change to the Medical Treatment Guidelines includes a whole new set of Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. Interestingly, the carpal tunnel Guidelines also include a description of factors to be considered by healthcare practitioners in formulating an opinion on whether the carpal tunnel is related to the claimant’s work activities. The existing Guidelines have no such factors to consider for the other bodily sites that were included in the original 2010 Guidelines, including the neck, back shoulders and knees.

Please contact us now for a free consultation on how the newly-revised Guidelines affect you, whether you are an existing client or you are contacting us for the first time.