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Workers' Compensation

New York: Board Was Empowered to Promulgate Non-Acute Pain Medical Treatment Guidelines

A New York appellate court held that the state's Workers' Compensation Board was empowered with the authority to promulgate the state's Non-Acute Pain Medical Treatment Guidelines (“NAPMTG”), and utilizing the guidelines in the case at bar, the Board was accordingly permitted to order the injured employee be weaned from a long-term opioid pain treatment plan. The worker established a claim for an occupational disease of the back in 1994 and pursuant to an order from the Board, was provided with symptomatic treatment and pain management on an ongoing basis. In May 2018, the employer and carrier requested further action to consider whether the claimant could be weaned from his opioids. Such weaning was appropriate under the NAPMTG. The worker contended, however, that the Board had not been empowered to craft and adopt the guidelines. The appellate court disagreed. It observed that the process that led to the NAPMTG actually began in 2007 and that prior case law had determined that the Board held the requisite power. The court added that the NAPMTG were added in 2014 and that they only expanded preexisting treatment guidelines that were within the Board’s power to issue. The Board was within its powers and there was nothing irrational in the Board's promulgation of the guidelines. Its decision to direct that the injured worker be weaned from opioids was affirmed.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Matter of Matter of McKay v. Southampton Hosp, 2020 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4096 (3d Dept. July 16, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 94.02.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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