Controversial medical treatments
There is an undercurrent of gadgets and devices being used on injured workers, according to Judge Lachlan Taylor of the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation.
- Buzz boxes -- a term used within the durable medical equipment industry to include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, and similar devices. Taylor said they may retail for under $200 but may be distributed through physicians' offices at $2,000.
- Hot and cold wraps, selling for a reported $1,800 each with no obvious therapeutic advantage over mundane products available for under $20.
- Laser spine surgery billed at $90,000, according to officials in Pennsylvania.
- MRI with sequencing. Workers' comp stakeholders say these function in much the same way as traditional MRIs except the patient moves his head in different directions and the treatment is billed additionally for each head movement.
December 9, 2010
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