In case you are one of the many people who doesn’t know much about what happens when an employee of the federal government is injured, you aren’t alone. Over the next few months, we’ll be adding information to educate our readers about this aspect of workers compensation.
The federal civilian workforce, nearly 3 million employees, is covered by the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) in the event of a work-related injury or illness. This program, administered by the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP) covers civilian employees across the states and those assigned internationally.
Occupational medicine (OM) physicians are uniquely qualified to support the federal workers compensation system in a variety of roles, including treating provider, specialty consultant, case reviewer, and independent medical examiner. The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) a very highly regarded organization, is exploring opportunities for its members to become more involved in the federal workers compensation system. To learn more about ACOEM, their website is: www.AEOEM.org
Some federal agencies employ occupational medical (OM) providers in their employee health units as treating providers, often offering care to injured workers who choose to use the agency’s medical services. Physicians interested in providing care for injured federal employees may enroll with ACOEM as a provider. Providers are subject to a fee schedule.
Independent Medical Examinations
OM physicians interested in performing independent medical examinations (IMEs), not subject to the fee schedule, should write to their local , OWCP District Director, and ask to be added to the Physician Directory System.
OWCP independent medical exams are scheduled using a rotation system among the local available providers in the required specialty. If you are contacted to perform an OWCP IME, you need to enroll as a federal provider in order to be paid for the exam. Registration does not commit a provider to providing FECA injury treatment.
Source: American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. “ACOEM E-News,” http://www.acoem.org/ACOEMNewsletters.aspx, January 2011, Volume 9 Issue 1.
ACOEM is partnering with Managed Care Advisors, Inc., a company specializing in federal workers compensation. To learn more about ACOEM member experience and interest in the federal system http://www.acoem.org/.
Managed Care Advisors, a sponsor of Workers Comp Kit Blog, is an innovative, woman-owned small business enterprise specializing in managed care, employee health benefits and workers compensation consulting and case management services. Learn more about Managed Care Advisors at: http://www.managedcareadvisors.com/.
WORK COMP CALCULATOR: http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR: http://www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
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