Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-200(a), an employer must furnish an injured worker such medical treatment which, in the judgment of the Board, is reasonably required and appears likely to effect a cure, give relief, or restore the employee to suitable employment.
What does this mean? Well, in a recent claim, a treating physician for an injured worker recommended hyperbaric oxygen therapy to help treat an injured worker’s injured elbow. The employer argued that such experimental therapy was not medically necessary or required under the rules. The Board allowed the treatment and the Appellate Division agreed.
The Board has the discretion in determining what medical treatment is reasonably required under the rules. There is nothing in the rules that requires such treatment to be FDA approved medical treatment. In this particular claim, the Board found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy was not unreasonable so the employer was required to cover the payments.