WC Medical Treatment FAQ

The employer and insurer are responsible for payment of “reasonable and necessary” Minnesota workers comp medical treatment, which will aid in curing or relieving the effects of the work injury. Covered Minnesota workers comp medical treatments include hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic services, injection therapy, chronic pain management and many other forms of medical care. The right to receive these benefits may be impacted by the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Treatment Parameters depending on various factors including whether the injury is admitted or denied.
Group 180

Commonly Asked WC Medical Treatment Questions:

The injured worker generally possesses the right to choose the treating doctor after a work injury. It has long been the law that Minnesota employees are given great latitude both in choosing and changing physicians. This choice can be limited, if the employer participates in a certified managed care plan. If that is the case, the employee will be required to pick a physician within the list provided by the plan – unless a documented history of treatment before the injury with that doctor can be demonstrated. Absent a certified plan, however, the employee has the right to choose the doctor who treats the injury.

Injured workers should understand, that accepting a doctor suggested by the employer can result in that doctor becoming the treating physician. Minnesota law indicates that a doctor who treats an employee two times for an injury becomes the “primary healthcare provider”. The law further allows an employee to change this primary healthcare provider one time within the first 60 days after treatment begins – without first obtaining permission from the employer or insurer. After 60 days, however, a change of primary physician must be approved by the employer or the workers’ compensation insurer – or if need be, the workers’ compensation court system.

The choice of the primary healthcare provider can have long-lasting consequences for an injured worker. Care should be taken by an injured worker, then, to choose a physician who is both qualified and competent to treat the injury. An injured worker need not simply accept the physician foisted on them by the employer or insurer.

If you have a work injury you are entitled to workers comp mileage to obtain medical treatment and/or for certain vocational rehabilitation activities. It is important to keep track of your round trip mileage and submit it the insurer at reasonable periods of time. The insurer is then required to pay mileage within 30 days of it being submitted to them.

An employer has a responsibility to provide medical treatment that is reasonable and necessary to cure and relieve the employee from the effects of a work injury. To that end, the employer/ insurer’s liability includes the responsibility to provide whatever transportation assistance is reasonably required to allow the employee to obtain proper treatment.

Mileage is to be paid at the following rates depending on when the treatment or vocational activities were performed:

IRS Mileage Rate Changes

  • 2018 – 54.5 cents
  • 2019 – 58 cents
  • 2020 – 57.5 cents
  • 2021 – 56 cents

After a MN work injury, workers compensation is responsible for paying for all reasonable, necessary and causally related work comp medical bills and treatment. This would include visits to your doctor, physical therapy, injections, chiropractic treatment, surgery, etc. Now, there are limits to certain treatment based on the Minnesota Treatment Parameters which limit the types and duration of treatment that you can receive for a work injury. Because there are a variety of reasons that an employer and insurer may deny treatment, they are required under the law to provide a basis for their denial of the treatment.

Insurance companies and employers may deny medical treatment for a variety of reasons including:

  • The treatment is not related to the work injury.
  • The treatment is outside of the allowed treatment parameters.
  • The chiropractic treatment is beyond the 12 weeks of allowed care without an allowed departure.
  • The treatment is not reasonable and/or necessary.

These are just some of the reasons that an adjuster or claims representative may deny treatment. They are required under the law within 14 days to either admit, deny or request a second opinion such as through an independent medical examination. In the cases of surgery, they are obligated to have an independent medical examination within 45 days of the request for surgery.