Signed into law and effective beginning January 1, 2020, New York’s Expanded Provider Law gives injured workers a greater number of health care options when receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Employees covered by the Empire State’s workers’ compensation system may now have access to thousands of new and diversified health care providers when seeking treatment for job-related injuries and illnesses. 

The new law intends to accomplish more than expanding the number of available providers. As noted on the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board website, the Expanded Provider Law also increases the types of health care services in the system. 

What are some of the new health care services the law allows? 

Under the new law, acupuncturists, licensed clinical social workers and nurse practitioners may now provide services to employees in New York State eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. This may enable injured workers to have improved recovery options. 

Nurse practitioners, for example, offer a unique approach to healing. As noted by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, NPs place a greater focus on counseling and smart health choices when treating their patients. The approach could prove helpful to workers suffering from the long-term effects of serious injuries. Shorter recovery times may result from expanded care. 

Another example of how the new law can help injured workers recover is through the newly added services of licensed clinical social workers. As noted on the Human Services Guide website, LCSWs may assist injured workers during their recovery by helping them cope with family problems, substance abuse or emotional issues. 

How may the new law help workers suffering from serious or catastrophic injuries? 

New York workers who have incurred serious or catastrophic on-the-job injuries may face long periods of recovery time and, in many cases, life-altering disabilities. The newly approved workers’ compensation services of nurse practitioners, LCSWs and acupuncturists may provide much-needed health care assistance to those who cannot return to work and suffer from constant pain.