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Insurer Playing Games to Thwart Treatment, Worker Says

  • State: Florida
  • Topic: SOUTH
  • - Average time spent on item: 22 minutes
  • - Popular with: Insurance

A Florida plant manager, badly burned in an explosion, is now accusing a workers' compensation carrier of playing “head games” with him over his treatment and has limited his gastroenterology care to a doctor 60 miles from his home, according to Tampa news report.

"I think it's part of their head games. I mean, why not send me to a doctor right here?" asked Neil Eckelberger, who was injured when a piece of equipment exploded at a food-processing facility in Lakeland, Florida, in 2017.

Florida's workers' compensation law allows the insurer or employer to choose the physician in most cases, and Eckelberger and his attorney have said that Travelers Insurance has made it difficult to obtain needed treatment.

In the latest episode, Eckelberger told the Tampa TV news station that Travelers wanted him to travel two hours away to be treated for continued stomach problems even though many doctors are available locally.

Travelers told the news station that only one gastroenterologist would see workers' comp patients, but Eckelberger and his wife noted that the carrier's own web page lists 21 in-network physicians closer to the worker's home.

"This is one of the very many ways that workers' comp carriers, in a very nefarious way, can set up barriers to medical care," said Eckelberger's attorney, Michael Winer, of Tampa.

A hearing on the claim is set for Tuesday.

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Mark Zientz Mar 21, 2019 a 7:03 am PDT

Aguilera taught them nothing.

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