An injured worker can be compensated for a massage she received under the guidance of her doctor, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire held on Wednesday.
In the appeal of Laura LeBorgne the court unanimously revoked a new Hampshire Compensation Appeals Board decision to refuse reimbursement based on a state charter requiring medical providers to submit medical forms within 10 days of first reading.
Laura LeBorgne suffered a workplace injury while moving a patient from a chair to a bed employed by the nonprofit Elliot Hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire. She had severe pain in her jaw, neck, shoulder and upper right side of the body, and was prescribed ice, physiotherapy and injections of the trigger point. When the treatment failed, she was prescribed opioids. After four years on drugs, her doctor began rehab and prescribed chiropractic treatment and massage therapy.
She moved to New York and began treatment with a massage therapist for weekly deep tissue massages, which the doctor stated in a letter from 201
Ms. LeBorgne initially covered the costs of her massage therapy, bought treatment packages with 10 massage treatments to get a discount and in 2017 submitted a request for a refund for these massages. Her request was rejected, and she appealed, but the Board of Appeal also rejected her request for reimbursement.
Although the Board of Appeal found that LeBorgne was a credible witness and gave greater weight to her doctor's opinion than the independent medical examiner, who spent five minutes with LeBorgne before stating that her ongoing massage treatment was "excessive" and not "medically necessary" , the board rejected her request based on a state law requiring medical forms to be submitted within ten days of first reading.
The Supreme Court of New Hampshire overturned the Board's decision. The court held that the board "erroneously considered that non-compliance" with the state's reimbursement legislation had determined whether the processing was reasonable, based on its decision on the lack of a submitted form.
The court found that because LeBorgne requested compensation for treatment she paid for personally, the rules for medical form did not apply because they specifically state that the 10-day requirement for the application "only applies to caregivers and medical facilities" Seeking compensation for services. says nothing about a claim that a patient employee seeks compensation for payments to providers of treatment she received, the court said.
As a result, the court returned and upheld the decision.