Claimant's attempt to obtain replacement massage chair falls flat
Kiraly v. City of Miami, 17 FLWCLB 65 (Fla. JCC, Miami 2010).
Ruling: A Florida judge of compensation claims denied the claimant's request for authorization and payment of an orthopedic massage chair. The claimant's current authorized physician opined that the chair was no longer medically necessary.
What it means: The fact that a treating doctor previously authorized the claimant to receive a massage chair does not necessarily mean the claimant will automatically receive a replacement chair, especially where a new treating doctor states that the chair is no longer medically necessary.
Summary: The claimant sustained work-related injuries to his left knee and back and was prescribed a massage chair, which eliminated the need for massage therapy. As he increased his gym workouts, he used the chair more frequently to alleviate back pain. The chair eventually stopped working, and he sought a replacement chair. His current authorized physician opined that there was no medical necessity for the chair, but he wrote the prescription because of the claimant's extreme persistence and refusal to take no for an answer. The JCC denied authorization for the chair. Although employees are generally entitled to "noncurative palliative care which mitigates the effects of the injury," the JCC accepted the doctor's opinion that the chair was no longer medically necessary. The prescription was written only at the claimant's insistence and lacked details regarding the make, model, capacity, and other specific information.
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July 29, 2010
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