Choosing Acupuncture for Workers Comp

If you were injured at work, now you can choose acupuncture as your form of rehabilitation for a workers compensation illness or injury. The California Department of Industrial Relations made revisions to current workers compensation laws in 2007 stating, "Acupuncture is used as an option when pain medication is reduced or not tolerated, it may be used as an adjunct to physical rehabilitation and/or surgical intervention to hasten functional recovery." This was a huge step for the acceptance of acupuncture in the Western world and a blessing to patients wanting to use natural medicine to heal. California law also requires covered treatments to be "scientifically based, nationally recognized, and peer-reviewed." It's comforting to know acupuncture has met all those standards in the Western community and been accepted as not just a preventative form of health care, but a true form of healing.

There are three ways can you elect to use acupuncture for a workers compensation case. These options are: (1)in-network provider, (2)predesignate of provider and (3)waiting for 30 days.

Your first option will depend on your employers insurance company having an acupuncturist within their Medical Provider Network. The insurance company has a group of health care providers they have already selected to be a part of their health care network. If you get injured, your employer will send you to a provider within this network. If you don't like that provider, you can select another provider from within that network.

Option two requires you predesignate your acupuncturist as your provider in case of a work injury. You must have seen the acupuncturist previous to the injury, the acupuncturist must have medical records for you (as long as they've treated you, they should have them) and a form, stating you want to predesignate, must be filled out prior to the injury or illness. Also, for this to be effective, your company must offer group health insurance.

Your third option requires waiting for 30 days. While your employers insurance company requires you see someone within their network for the first 30 days, you are entitled to visit whatever health care practitioner you want, as long as it's recognized by the California Department of Industrial Relations. Now that acupuncture falls under this category, feel free to start using acupuncture on your road to recovery.

Remember, there are three ways can you elect to use acupuncture for a workers compensation case. These options are: (1)in-network provider, (2)predesignate of provider and (3)waiting for 30 days. If you've already used acupuncture in the past and know how powerful this medicine can be, predesignate your acupuncturist as your workers compensation provider as soon as you can.

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