When you have sustained an injury at work, one of the methods that your physician or specialist may employ to monitor your recovery is telehealth. A frequent question we are asked here at The Armstrong Law Firm, PLC, is, “Does Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation pay for telehealth services?” Let’s investigate this topic further, explore all the valuable uses of telehealth medicine and determine when you may need an Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Attorney when receiving telehealth services.
What is Telehealth?
According to the State of Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission 2022 Medical Fee Schedule, “Telemedicine is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to provide care when the provider and patient are in different locations. Technologies used to provide telemedicine include telephone, video, the internet, mobile app, remote patient monitoring and remote therapeutic monitoring.”
While this technology was already in use before COVID-19, the pandemic significantly accelerated its popularity. Medical practitioners of every stripe began offering telehealth services as a safe, convenient and necessary means to serve patients while shutdowns and strict health regulations prohibited many in-person interactions and treatments.
Common Uses for Telehealth Services
A variety of specialized care is available through modern telehealth services. Each medical practitioner will determine if a patient’s care would be best served through telemedicine services; however, patients may also request telemedicine services for any reason. The most popular reasons for requesting telemedicine include health concerns and convenience.
Common uses for telemedicine services include:
- Patient triage to determine if in-person care is necessary
- Coordinating care during care transitions
- Reviewing lab tests or X-ray results
- Mental health treatment and counseling
- Medication management
- Help with chronic conditions like migraines, urinary tract infections or pain management
- Reviewing treatment or progress of skin conditions
- Urgent care issues like colds, coughs and stomach aches
- Post-surgical follow-up reviews
- Physical therapy and occupational therapy
- Tracking progress toward health or rehabilitative goals
Telehealth and Workers’ Compensation
As telehealth services become more mainstream across Oklahoma and the United States, you may expect your treatment and rehabilitation from injuries under Workers’ Compensation to include telehealth visits with your primary care provider or other medical specialists.
According to Oklahoma Statutes Title 36 Section 6803, “… services that a health care professional determines to be appropriately provided by means of telemedicine…” are covered by “any health benefit plan that is offered, issued or renewed in this state by an insurer on or after the effective date of this act…”
This simply means that telemedicine (or telehealth) services are covered under Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation insurance “… consistent with coding and clinical standards recognized by the American Medical Association…” and “… as agreed to by the insurer and provider.”
An Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Attorney can help you review your employer’s insurance coverage to determine the rights and limitations for employees pertaining to telehealth coverage.
When Do I Need an Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
While telehealth services are a convenient and useful innovation that have already proven beneficial to many patients across Oklahoma, if you feel you are not being well-served through telehealth, you should share these concerns with your provider. Alternately, if you would rather take advantage of telehealth services during your rehabilitation from a work-related injury and have been denied such services, you should also discuss this with your physician and/or employer.
An Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Attorney from The Armstrong Law Firm, PLC can offer counsel and guidance throughout your recovery from a work-related injury to help make sure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled, including telehealth services. Contact us at The Armstrong Law Firm if you have questions or need guidance. We offer a free initial consultation to review your claims.