Columbus, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) - The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) has taken steps to increase the availability and quality of medical providers who treat Ohioans injured on the job. Changes that went into effect with the New Year include expanding the type of providers who can treat injured workers and strengthening certification requirements.
"Injured workers deserve access to effective providers who are fully committed to their recovery and successful return to work," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "As we have taken a closer look at the services we provide to Ohio employers and injured workers, we are challenging ourselves and our provider network to meet a higher standard that leaves no room to compromise patient care."
The rules add a number of healthcare professionals to those that can be certified to treat injured workers. These include adult day care facilities, anesthesiologist assistants, independent diagnostic testing facilities, and sleep laboratories. The additions are the result of BWC's engagement of healthcare professionals, who recommended expanding injured workers' access to quality providers, as well as provider access to the system.
Certification requirements have also been strengthened to bring them more in line with nationally recognized standards. These include an expanded review of all providers' credentials to identify those whose licenses are under suspension or revocation, or are subject to disciplinary restrictions in another state.
Decertification protocols for providers with repeated violations of workers' compensation rules or statutes have been clarified. Under the new rules, providers are given notice of non-compliance, and an opportunity to submit a corrective action plan in cases with established patterns of non-compliance. Providers may be decertified if they are unable to come into compliance, or demonstrate issues reflecting fraud or inappropriate use of injured workers' information.
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