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Workers' Compensation

West Virginia: State Regulation Denying Reimbursement for In-Office Treatment for Heavy Metal Illness Declared Invalid







An injured worker’s medical expenses related to intravenous chelation therapy performed in a medical office should have been paid by the employer in spite of a specific state regulation [see WV. Code of St. Rules 85–20–62.2] that precluded the reimbursement, held the state’s Supreme Court of Appeals. The therapy is a chemical process in which a synthetic solution is injected into the bloodstream to help remove heavy metals and/or minerals from the body. The worker had been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy due to toxic exposure to heavy metals at his workplace. The worker’s treating physician, a specialist in toxicology, performed the procedure in his medical office and indicated that there were no chelation programs in hospitals in West Virginia treating chronic heavy metal toxicity. The Court noted that it was undisputed that the treatment was medically necessary to treat the employee’s compensable condition. The Court held the regulation unreasonably denied reimbursement when such treatment was medically necessary, in contravention of W. Va. Code § 23–4–3.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

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See Moore v. K-Mart Corp., 2015 W. Va. LEXIS 103 (Feb. 5, 2015) [2015 W. Va. LEXIS 103 (Feb. 5, 2015)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 94.02 [94.02]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.









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