Workers Compensation

Georgia Hand, Shoulder, and Elbow is happy to care for patients under the Georgia Workers Compensation System.  We have over fifty years of experience in the Workers Compensation System.  We understand the necessity for early availability, frequent communication, willingness to fill out appropriate paperwork, and the ability to balance this with excellent patient care.

What is needed prior to first appointment?

A patient must report the injury to his or her employer. The employer then fills out a “form WC-1” and the patient is issued a claim number.  Before the patient can be seen in this office, this process much be completed and the insurance adjustor should call the office to authorize an initial evaluation. The patient may then schedule an appointment.

What can the patient expect?

All patients treated by the physicians and staff of Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow receive the same exceptional healthcare irrespective of what kind of insurance they have.  Workers Compensation is no different. 

What makes services under Workers Compensation different?

  1. All patients are required to have an injury report and a claim number prior to their first appointment.

  2. Every visit is performed only with the patient and the physician present.  The patient may have a case manager appointed by the insurance company.  The case manager usually waits in the reception area unless the patient requests their presence during the evaluation.

  3. After the patient visit, the doctor will meet with the case manager(if one has been assigned). The patient is of course welcome and encouraged to be present during this visit.

  4. The patient will be given a Work Status Sheet at the end of every visit.  The sheet will:
    • summarize the visit
    • list what tests have been performed or recommended
    • list the medications the patient is prescribed
    • report the patient’s work status “no work, restricted work, regular work, etc.”
    • give the date of next appointment

    A copy of this sheet will be faxed to the employer as well as given to the patient.

  5. Elective diagnostic tests usually require approval beforehand.  Georgia Hand, Shoulder and Elbow is responsible for getting the study approved and scheduling the test.  A followup appointment is usually made for the next week after the test to review the results.

  6. Emergent and urgent surgery will of course be performed without regard to insurance status.  Elective surgery needs to be approved and usually takes approximately two weeks.  The approval request is sent along with a copy of the office notes.  Once approved, the patient will be scheduled for another office visit to discuss the surgery again, complete all the necessary paperwork, and give the patient the exact location and time of the surgery.

  7. A “final rating” will be issued to all workers compensation patients. This is usually issued at the end of treatment.  When the patient is essentially “healed”, they are said to be at “MAXIMUM MEDICAL IMPROVEMENT.” The patient will be examined and according to The AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, they will be given a rating.  The rating is based on many factors including motion, sensation, level of amputation, etc. The rating is not issued until the patient is at maximum medical improvement and no further significant changes are expected.