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New limitations on back surgeries for injured Ohio workers

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2018 | Workers' Compensation

Ohio readers may know that if they suffer an injury at work, they could be eligible for certain benefits through workers’ compensation insurance. However, there are limits to the type of support they could get, especially if they suffered a back injury. A new rule passed by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation strictly limits the type of care a patient may receive for back injuries.

If you suffered a back injury in a work-related accident, you may find it beneficial to know how to fight for the specific types of care you need. This could be especially important if you may require spinal fusion surgery. According to this new law, there are other remedies you may have to try before you can get certain painkillers and spinal fusion surgery.

New rule means new fight for injured workers

Back injuries range in type and severity. In some cases, it may be possible to reach a full recovery without the need for serious medical intervention. According to this new rule for workers’ compensation in Ohio, individuals who experience back injuries on the job will have to try the following first:

  • Chiropractic care
  • Physical therapy
  • Rest

Only after a person tries the above remedies will he or she be able to get certain types of painkillers or become eligible for spinal fusion surgery. Presumably, this is to reduce the number of people on opioid painkillers. The opioid crisis is particularly bad in Ohio, but some say that this new rule is overreach.

The intent behind the new rule is to limit the number of people having very serious back surgery when alternative treatment could be possible. This may keep people from taking painkillers post-surgery, some of which may be linked to addiction and eventual heroin dependency. Workers will have to try at least 60 days of alternative care before they can move on to surgery and strong medication.

Opposition to this new rule

While the overprescribing of certain medications is an issue, there are many who believe this new law is overly broad and could cause problems for injured workers who genuinely need back surgery.

If you have a back injury and believe you have a valid workers’ compensation claim, you may find it beneficial to seek guidance from the very beginning of the claims process. With support, you may be able to seek the care you need, fighting any challenges that arise and pursuing what you need for recovery.