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California Legislature Tackles Controversial Spinal Implants

By Kenton Koszdin Law Office on June 17, 2013 | In Workers Compensation

Spinal implants include a range of medical devices that may be implanted in a patient’s spine to treat or fix a back injury. Since many jobs, including construction, mining, and farming, cause back injuries to several workers each year, spinal implants become a key part of treatment for employees who need workers’ compensation benefits.

But how should California workers’ compensation pay for spinal implants? And are the payments offered enough to cover the often high costs of treatment? These and other controversial questions are currently being tackled by the California legislature, according to an article in The Fresno Bee.

Because spinal surgeries often involve implanting costly devices, not all California hospitals once accepted spinal implant patients whose treatments were covered by workers’ compensation. The hospitals claimed that the workers’ comp benefits available did not cover the costs of the surgery and implant. When the California legislature passed a bill to cover spinal implant surgeries in 2002, hospitals began performing them for workers’ compensation patients again – but now, the legislature is concerned that the “high costs” the hospitals claim they face for the procedures actually mask a hefty profit margin.

Tied up in the question of payment and profit is the question of whether spinal implants are actually necessary for all spine injury patients. While research on the best treatments for spinal injury is ongoing, few medical professionals have a confident answer for this question.

At the Kenton Koszdin Law Office, our skilled southern California workers’ compensation attorneys can help you get the compensation you need after an on-the-job injury or occupational illness. Contact us today at (818) 901-9999 to learn more.

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