Injured workers in Pennsylvania now entitled to massage therapy

Victims of workplace injuries in Pennsylvania are finally catching a break thanks to a recent win in court. Once, they were obligated to opt for more expensive treatments for their muscular injuries.

Now, they can choose less-expensive treatment that can actually keep them working or get them back on the job faster. Surprisingly, that treatment is massage therapy.

This might actually beg the question, "Why wasn't this done before?" It certainly seems like a win-win for everyone involved. The reason is probably because massage therapy has been an under-rated form of medical care for a long time. In fact, it has been treated with derision, despite its growing acceptance in the world of medicine.

In a case decided just before the end of 2017, a Pennsylvania court granted a workers' compensation claimant reimbursement for the massage therapy sessions that he had paid for out of pocket.

The worker had been injured in 1978 but had managed to stay functional with treatment from his primary care doctor and his chiropractor. His chiropractor eventually sent him to treatment with a massage therapist every third week.

He paid the $60 fee out of his own pocket but asked for reimbursement from workers' comp. The claim was made on the basis that the therapy was directly connected to his old injury from work and either given by or supervised by a licensed medical practitioner.

For years, the insurance community has been terrified that workers who are allowed to pick their own treatments would drive up costs. Maybe they'll embrace this change once they realize that injured workers are just looking for chronic pain relief. That means they are willing to try something a lot less expensive (and dangerous) than surgery and opiates.

If you're having a hard time getting reimbursed for your workplace injury, consider talking to an attorney to discuss your options. You shouldn't have to suffer when care is rightfully available to you.

Source: www.benefitspro.com, "Massage therapy: a covered medical treatment or not?," Christian Petrucci, Jan. 05, 2018

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