Objections to Telemedicine for Workers’ Compensation

Of course, telemedicine is not appropriate for the diagnosis and treatment of all work-related injuries and illnesses. For especially serious and life-threatening conditions, personal contact with a physician is still necessary. Critics of telemedicine also point out other potential problems:

  • Language or culture barriers that might make virtual communication difficult
  • Security issues and privacy concerns
  • Increased possibility of improper diagnoses or incorrect treatment.
  • No established fee schedule for telehealth treatment
  • Technical malfunctions, loss of signal, and equipment failure in emergency situations

Nonetheless, telemedicine is probably here to stay and likely to play a growing role in workers’ compensation, especially in cases with minor injuries and minimal time off work.

Telemedicine and Insurance Companies

Most employees who file workers’ comp claims in Horry County would prefer to see their own doctors, rather than physicians certified by the insurance company, which generally exercises some control over the doctors it certifies. An insurance company-certified doctor could be more likely to:

  • Prescribe inexpensive treatment/medication to save the company money when more expensive remedies would be better for the patient
  • Claim a patient has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) early and send that patient back to work too soon

It’s also possible that the insurance company might balk at reimbursing a patient for treatment via telemedicine or dispute the fee. The company might also recommend a doctor that does not provide telehealth care even though the employee’s injuries make leaving home for in-person treatment difficult or impossible.

If your claim is denied or the insurance company is slow or uncooperative about reimbursing you for covered expenses, a workers’ comp attorney may help you by taking the following actions if necessary:

  • Requesting an informal conference
  • Requesting a hearing before the SCWCC
  • Requesting a Commission Review
  • Appealing to the SC Court of Appeals
  • Appealing to the SC Supreme Court

Have You Been Injured On The Job?

If you've been hurt at your job you can speak with a workers' compensation lawyer. Please contact us online or call our Charleston, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.2359 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Florence, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. PleasantNorth Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

Dirk J. Derrick
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South Carolina Lawyer Dirk Derrick helps victims recover from car accidents, personal injury & wrongful death.