If you’re injured on the job, you have rights and benefits guaranteed by workers’ compensation. The team at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow in Atlanta, Athens, and Marietta, Georgia are dedicated to helping you achieve your highest level of functional recovery and to getting you back to work as soon as possible. Our patients who depend on workers’ compensation can count on seeing an orthopedic surgeon at each visit during their recovery and receiving comprehensive rehabilitation services from our staff of therapists.
Our goal is to help you obtain the highest possible level of functional recovery and to return you to meaningful work safely and expeditiously.
If you are injured on the job, you have certain rights, benefits, and responsibilities. Your employer also has obligations and responsibilities regarding all employees. Our focus is to assist you with your job-related injury. Our goal is to provide the best quality medical care for the entire length of your recovery and to safely return you to productive employment. We will make every effort to work with you and your company to achieve this goal.
We pledge to give you individual attention. You will see a physician at each visit – not just a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner. The staff of GHSE understands you and your family’s concerns when an injury has occurred. We are here to help you through this difficult time.
The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation has a website (https://sbwc.georgia.gov/) containing useful information for review. We recommend that you go to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and download the employee handbook. This is a useful reference to answer almost all questions regarding your rights and responsibilities.
GHSE is happy to see you for any work related injury from the shoulder to the finger tip. You will need to report the injury to your employer and obtain a claim number. Prior to being seen, you will need to have authorization from your employer. Once approved, we will make you an appointment with the doctor as soon as possible. Often, that can be the same day.
There are several intake forms to fill out prior to your first appointment. These forms can be done in the office or, to save time, in advance of your appointment. Click here to view the new patient forms, and complete them at your convenience.
On your first visit, your doctor will discuss your injury, review your medical history, and perform a physical exam. In addition, he may obtain x-rays for further evaluation.
Your physician will then discuss a treatment plan with you. This may include additional testing, medication, splinting, therapy and, if indicated, surgical treatment. Our staff will assist you in scheduling any necessary tests and future appointments, including therapy.
Your doctor may request a test such as a nerve conduction study, CT scan, or MRI. Our office will work with you to get this test approved, scheduled and covered under your Workers’ Compensation claim.
Our experienced staff of therapists are available each day in both of our locations to assist with rehabilitation, wound care, amputee therapy, prosthetic evaluation, simulation, and fitting. This group is skilled at assisting you with returning you to your activities of daily living (ADLs) and your work duties. Frequently you will go straight from the office visit to the therapy center.
Your doctor may recommend surgery for your problem. If your surgery is urgent it will be scheduled as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will be scheduled after approval is obtained from your workers’ compensation carrier. We perform surgery in two JCAH approved facilities, one full hospital setting and one ambulatory surgery center dedicated solely to hand and upper extremity surgery.
The office is open from 8 am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. A physician is available for emergency services 24 hours a day. Our occupational therapy office is open from 8 am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.
We have two locations. Please check when making your appointment to be sure you arrive at the correct location for evaluation. Our main (Atlanta) office is located at 2061 Peachtree Street in Suite 500. Our Northern location is in Marietta and is located on the 5th floor of the 790 building across from Kennestone Hospital.
After each visit you will be given a worksheet which is an outline of your visit with the physician. It will contain information about your diagnosis, general condition, recommended tests and any proposed treatment. It will also include your current work capacity. We will fax the worksheet to your case manager or workplace on the day of evaluation.
As of October 2014, the Georgia State laws have changed and a written prescription will be required to obtain certain scheduled medications. This means that NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICATION CANNOT BE CALLED INTO THE PHARMACY. Some patients with chronic discomfort may benefit from evaluation and treatment through a pain management service. When that is necessary, we will facilitate arrangement for evaluation. If you need a medication refill, please request them when you are in the office or come to the office for evaluation.
Medical records are available upon request. If you need medical records please contact our medical records custodian and we will assist you with the request.
A functional capacity evaluation is a test that is done to establish safe parameters for return to the workplace. This test is performed by an independent examiner and takes several hours to complete. Although not always necessary, this test is done after you have reached maximum medical improvement from your injury. It is used to determine your work capacity according to the Department of Labor guidelines or as it relates to a specific job task. You will have the opportunity to review the study with your physician.
When you have reached maximum medical improvement(MMI), it may be appropriate for your doctor to assign a rating of final impairment. Your doctor or therapist will calculate the rating based on the AMA Guidelines 5th edition and will amend the rating to your chart.
After completion, it is sent to your insurance company who then has 30 days to complete your settlement. If you haven’t heard from them within this time frame, contact your case manager or your Human Resources department at work.
The insurance company that manages your claim is responsible for providing translation services when necessary.