Workers Compensation – Medical care

In the State of Florida, workers’ compensation benefits include coverage for medical care for work-related injuries. Florida Statute 440.13 explains the duty of an employer to provide medical care after a work-related injury.

According to Florida Statute 440.13, an injured employee is entitled to receive “medically necessary remedial treatment, care, and attendance.” Employers frequently purchase workers’ compensation insurance and the insurer provides payment for this covered medical care, although some employers do self-insure.

Workers’ compensation medical benefits extend to all care that is necessary to treat a work-related illness or injury and all care that is necessary to facilitate recovery from the illness or injury. This can include medicines; durable medical equipment; medical care supplies; prostheses and orthoses; and any other apparatus which is medically necessary. Surgery, pain management programs, and up to 24 chiropractic care treatments can also be covered by workers’ compensation.

If an employer fails to respond to a request by an injured employee to provide the initial treatment or medical care which is required, the employee may obtain initial treatment at the employer’s expense as long as the treatment is necessary. An employe must request the initial treatment in order to be entitled to recover reimbursement for medical care.

After an initial examination and diagnosis but prior to the beginning of a course of medical treatment, a workers’ compensation insurer may review the proposed course of treatment in order to assess whether the treatment is reasonably prudent and should be covered. There is, however, an exception for emergency situations and when employees receive treatment within a managed care arrangement.