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Telehealth and Workers’ Compensation Telehealth and Workers’ Compensation

Telehealth and Workers’ Compensation

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state agencies involved in the administration of workers’ compensation claims altered or changed course entirely with regard to the use of electronic means of communication—telehealth—between authorized medical providers and injured workers. 

In Ohio, after the state of emergency was declared on March 9, 2020, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (“BWC”) responded by authorizing various forms of telehealth as an approved way for providers to deliver care to injured workers. The basis for this new flexibility in care delivery was so medical providers could determine the best means of providing care to injured workers while reducing unnecessary exposure to COVID-19. The BWC now utilizes multiple mediums, including telemedicine (audio and video) and the telephone (audio only), to render telehealth services. Similarly, other state agencies altered how telehealth could be delivered and paid for under a workers’ compensation claim.   

Telehealth is convenient as it can save time and money. However, now that in-person medical evaluations are broadly available, the employer’s representative can critique the value of telehealth at hearings by raising credibility issues and attacking examiner’s findings because the telehealth visit between a physician and injured worker does not involve any actual physical examinations or orthopedic test results outside of what may only be seen or heard.

For more information about telehealth affecting claims, contact Marisa Bartlette Willis or the Workers' Compensation lawyer with whom you most frequently work.

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader's specific circumstances.

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