Lessons learned from Jordyn
Delaware Workers’ Compensation Law
How to choose the right healthcare provider for your workers’ compensation injury
By Heather A. Long, Esq.
Recently, I found myself looking for a pediatric endocrinologist for my daughter, Jordyn. In my line of work, I don’t typically get to interact with endocrinologists, pediatric or otherwise. So, we went with a referral from a local children’s hospital, and lets just say that I was less than impressed with the doctor that they paired us up with. I joined an online support group and through that group, found a fantastic doctor that recently moved to the area from Boston. We met with her, and knew right away that we finally found the right doctor for Jordyn. Every time we interact with this new doctor, I am so glad that I didn’t settle for what I considered to be sub-par service for my now thriving, two-year old little girl!
Injured workers go through the same process of having to find a doctor or other healthcare worker to fix what ails them. It is unusual for an injured worker to already have an established relationship with a physical medicine, orthopedic doctor or other necessary specialist, therefore the worker finds themselves in somewhat of a “fish out of water” situation in that they need to seek treatment right away but are not sure where to start.
In Delaware, injured workers must see a Certified Healthcare Provider in order for the provider’s bills to be paid by the workers’ compensation insurance company. These doctors and therapists take an exam, conducted by the Delaware Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation, after which, they are issued a certification. The Certification must be renewed by the doctor or therapist every 2 years, and the Department of Labor keeps track of these dates.
A list of all certified healthcare providers is available online, and can be found on the Department
of Labor website at http://dia.delawareworks.com/workers-comp/hcps/provider-certification.php.
The Department of Labor updates this list on a weekly basis, so it is important to check this list prior to seeing any doctor for a work injury. Of course, any emergency visit or treatment is excluded from the requirement that the doctors are certified providers.
One of the benefits to hiring a workers’ compensation attorney, is that you get a “friend in the business.” What this means, is that as a workers’ compensation attorney, I have become familiar with the certified doctors and therapists that treat injured workers. Based on where you live, the type of doctor you need, and any other special considerations, I can help you select the one that best suits your particular case. I sure wish that I had someone like that to help me find a pediatric endocrinologist
If you are injured at work, it can be confusing to try and figure out what doctor to see. Additionally, that doctor must be certified by the Department of Labor. If all of this seems too daunting to figure out, especially while you are in pain, let me be your “friend in the business.” I offer free consultations with no attorney’s fee to be paid until your case is settled. This gives you the peace of mind you need in order to focus on the most important thing- your health.
Heather has been an attorney for over six years, and is currently practicing Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Law at Kimmel, Carter, Roman & Peltz, P.A. with offices in Newark and Wilmington. Heather worked her way through law school as a paralegal in a personal injury firm. After passing the bar exam, she spent several years working as a defense attorney, representing local, regional and national companies. With the knowledge gained about the inner-workings of these companies, she now represents injured workers and personal
Heather is a graduate of Widener University School of Law, and the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Prior to attending law school, she was licensed as a paramedic and spent time volunteering for her local ambulance corps. She is also active as a mock trial coach for Salesianum High School.
Heather is licensed to practice law in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, please call (302) 565-6132 or email her directly at HLong@kcrlaw.com.