Michigan telemedicine rises in workers’ compensation claims

According to industry reports, “telemedicine” is rapidly growing as a tool in the treatment of injured workers across the country, including Saginaw. Telemedicine is defined as the virtual interaction between two people during the workers’ compensation claims process.

The process has been used for decades as doctors and pharmacists telephone injured workers. Nonetheless, it has evolved with technology to include everything from taking vital signs to face-to-face doctor visits via video conference. The benefits of telemedicine, according to at least one Michigan doctor, are obvious to employers who have been ramping up its use in recent years.

Among these benefits, employers have found that telemedicine keeps injured workers out of the emergency room and improves return to work rates. While the benefits from a cost-saving standpoint appear obvious, injured workers are justified in wondering whether they will still be provided the same quality of care.

Proponents of expanded telemedicine argue that the efficiency of the process is good for patients as they receive diagnosis and treatment faster than if they were jockeying for appointments and enduring long waiting rooms. However, it is also obvious that not every medical condition can be managed remotely.

Therefore, injured workers are justified in demanding the best possible care and the smallest amount of red tape. Local Saginaw area workers’ compensation lawyers are passionate about ensuring injured workers make good on those demands. From securing payment of medical expenses and lost wages to prohibiting corner cutting by employer based insurance coverage, local lawyers can help an injured worker avoid common detriments that often come along with a workplace injury.

Source: Business Insurance, “Telemedicine gaining ground in treatment of injured workers,” Stephanie Goldberg, July 6, 2014