Workers Comp Board Approves Discogram

Posted on Mar 13, 2015

This case was "remanded" from the Oregon Court of Appeals. A "remand" occurs when a case is sent back from an Appeals Court to a lower court or administrative injury for further consideration.

This case involved approval of a diagnostic test known as a "discogram." A discogram is a painful diagnostic procedure that tries determine a specific source of pain, especially in low back disc injuries. In this particular case, the attending physician proposed the discogram to see whether or not the injured worker was suffering from a disc condition that required surgery. The carrier rejected this request, arguing that the proposed procedure was not aimed that dealing with the work-related injury.

The Board disagreed, explaining that medical services should be provided for any condition that is caused by an injury event. The Board explained that provision of medical services is not limited to the accepted condition, but instead, the "compensable injury." Because diagnostic services are often aimed at determining the cause or the extent of an injury, those kinds of medical services are typically covered whether not the condition that is eventually found as result of the on-the-job injury or not.

One Board member filed a dissenting opinion, arguing that the medical evidence was inconsistent with a disc injury, and therefore, was not persuaded that further diagnostic evaluation would determine the cause or extent of a compensable injury.

Medical services, especially diagnostic testing, can be critical to getting an injured worker back on the job. If you are in the middle of an accepted Oregon Workers' Comp claim, but are having challenges getting the medical care you deserve, call us at 503-325-8600. We will review your claims file, and if necessary, to get the medical opinion we need to get your medical care. Under the Oregon Workers' Compensation system, we are not paid unless we are successful.

Joe Di Bartolomeo
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