Directing Medical Treatment in Compensable Claims in North Carolina

An increasingly litigated issue involves an employer’s right to direct and provide medical treatment. As a reminder, when an employer accepts a claim as compensable, it is the employer’s right to direct medical treatment. This has long been established by North Carolina precedent and statutes, including N.C. Gen. Stat. Section 97-25. Medical treatment, or medical compensation, is broadly defined by N.C. Gen. Stat. Section 97-2(19). Medical compensation includes “medical, surgical, hospital, nursing, and rehabilitative services, including, but not limited to, attendant care services prescribed by …

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Proposed Rules Aimed at Addressing Opioid Epidemic and its Impact on North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claims Continue to Progress

As the opioid epidemic continues to sweep the country, the North Carolina Industrial Commission has taken notice. In February 2017, Chairman Charlton Allen established an Opioid Task Force aimed at finding solutions to address the opioid epidemic and the impact on workers’ compensation claims. Late last year, the Industrial Commission published draft rules for public comment on the utilization of opioids and pain management in workers’ compensation claims.

On January 16, 2018, the Industrial Commission announced that the proposed rules were published in Volume 32, …

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Plain Language of North Carolina Statute Withstands Challenge from Claimant

In North Carolina, a claimant’s right to seek additional medical compensation expires two years after the date of the employer’s last payment of medical or indemnity compensation (absent limited exceptions). N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-25.1 Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, in Anders v. Universal Leaf N. Am, issued an opinion rejecting a claimant’s attempt to get around this time limitation holding true to the plain language of the statute.

In Anders, the claimant suffered from a compensable accident resulting in bilateral …

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