Georgia workers’ compensation claimants may occasionally receive treatment or tests that are not pre-authorized to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In a recent opinion, this issue was discussed at length by a state appellate court.
The Facts of the Case
According to the court’s opinion, the claimant suffered a neck injury while at work, which was covered under workers’ compensation. Although the claimant had preexisting neck injuries, the claimant received workers’ compensation benefits to treat his neck pain.
An orthopedic surgeon evaluated the claimant’s neck and recommended cervical fusion surgery. The claimant filed a claim to have the operation covered under workers’ compensation. The employer then had an independent medical examiner evaluate the case, who found that the work injury was not the major contributing cause of any condition for which the fusion surgery was recommended, and the employer denied the claim.