Ordinarily, if you needed a medical exam to diagnose a new workplace injury or assess an ongoing condition, you would go to the doctor’s office. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have a virtual appointment instead. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation temporarily changed its policies in March to allow telemedicine appointments originating in the worker’s home.
Previously, the patient had to be in a hospital, a nursing home, a private area at the employer’s location or the provider’s office or clinic. The new rules allow for greater flexibility during this time and ensure injured employees get treatment and claims continue to be approved. The temporary policy also permits telephone visits with managed care facilities. The changes are expected to remain in effect as long as Ohio is subject to a state of emergency declaration.
However, this doesn’t mean that challenges won’t occur. You may experience problems in getting medical attention or having your claim approved in a timely manner. If so, a Cincinnati workers’ compensation lawyer can help you get the benefits you deserve. You shouldn’t be deterred if you encounter problems.
If it’s your first time seeing a doctor via a laptop or tablet, you may not be sure to expect. To ensure that the session is productive and supportive of your claim for workers’ comp benefits, we’ve put together some tips.
Take the Time to Prepare
Just as you should if you were going to the doctor’s office, make some notes about the things you want to talk about. List your symptoms and write down how long you’ve been experiencing them and how they limit your ability to work. If you have questions about how long it’ll take for you to recover or how your condition will be treated, you should also make a note of these. Given the novelty of a virtual visit, you may not remember everything you want to talk about.
Have Your Device Ready
The doctor may use a website or an app to facilitate the visit. If possible, find out what it will be before the visit and familiarize yourself with how it works. You should also make sure that your webcam and microphone are working properly, and your device is charged if necessary. Avoid using a cellphone with a small screen and try as much as possible to have a stable internet connection.
Treat the Visit Like an In-Person Visit
Sit in a quiet spot and ensure you’re fully in the frame and looking directly at the doctor who should also be fully present. Speak normally and let the doctor know if you’re not hearing them well or you don’t understand something. Virtual visits look and feel different, but the doctor is still supposed to act professionally and help you to the best of their ability. Before the session ends, make sure you’re clear about what the next steps are.
Make Thorough Notes
If the doctor gives you instructions or managing your condition or tells you how to take your medication, be sure to write it down. You may not remember it otherwise and you won’t be given a physical prescription at the end of the session. Avoid the possibility of having to call the doctor again and make sure you have all the relevant information before you conclude the visit.
Feel Free to Have Someone Sit on the Session
If you’re not too au fait with technology, ask someone to attend the virtual session with you. They can assist you if you need to adjust your webcam or send a file to the doctor. Similarly, if you usually have your spouse or friend accompany you to medical appointments, invite them to your home on the day of the visit. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re receiving medical information so having some support can make a big difference.
Reach Out to a Cincinnati Workers’ Comp Lawyer If You Need Help
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 situation, you have the right to treatment and benefits if you get injured on the job. Our team remains committed to ensuring this happens. If you can’t get an independent medical exam or the treatment you need because you can’t see a doctor, we may be able to help you. Call our Cincinnati workers’ compensation attorneys today to schedule a consultation where you can discuss your situation with us and benefit from expert legal advice. You don’t have to handle this alone.