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need help? - inform your attending provider about the problems you are having, ask for a referral.

Having a workplace injury or "occupational disease", being off work, receiving medical treatment and rehabilitation services are stressful for most people. Most injured workers are able to manage well enough and get what they need to move forward without the assistance of someone like me.

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However, some injured workers get overwhelmed in one way or another and need a helping hand. Sometimes all that is needed is some support, encouragement, information and guidance. For those injured workers, their attending provider can make a referral for "Health Behavior Assessment and Intervention." This allows me to immediately assess whether there might be some psychological, social, behavioral, or bureaucratic issues that might be interfering with your treatment or recovery. If any such issues are identified, I am able to provide services as a coach and as a guide to assist the injured worker in overcoming them. These services do not require authorization from your claims manager.

 

Some injured workers have more complex problems. They may have already had psychological problems before the injury or they might have been just hanging in there before the injury. These injured workers can experience a more serious psychological problem that meets the grade for a diagnosable depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, postconcussive syndrome and so forth. If that is the case, your attending provider will want to make a psychological consult for a full diagnostic evaluation with treatment recommendations. This introduces a legal twist in terms of claims management. Specifically, if there is a diagnosable psychological problem, was it directly caused by the workplace injury, was it made worse by the injury or is it unrelated to the injury? These are legal questions with financial consequences for both you and your employer. Your claims manager will need to address these issues before treatment is authorized. Because of these issues, your claims manager may not even authorize the evaluation and may request an independent medical examination instead. Nevertheless, psychological problems that are caused by or made worse by the workplace injury are covered as part of your workers compensation benefits, according to state law.