Indianapolis, IN asked in Workers' Compensation for Indiana

Q: Can workman's comp make me switch pharmacies? They are appealing my settlement. I was awarded palliative care.

I'm looking for statutes to back this up.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Candiano
Charles Candiano
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: Nobody can tell you whether they can make you switch pharmacies without reading the Compromise and Release that you both signed a/k/a settlement. The Compromise and Release is a formal contract that terminates the claim. It cannot be "appealed."

You say that you were "awarded" palliative care. You cannot be "awarded" anything in a settlement. The words matter. If you are saying that you went to trial and a board member awarded you palliative care as part of your award, NOT a settlement, the award CAN be appealed within 20 days. After 20 days, the award becomes final.

Palliative care is any medicine or procedure that eases your discomfort but cannot improve your physical condition. Palliative care can consist of over-the-counter pain medication, prescription pain medication, or a nerve root stimulator that would be implanted. The cost of this care can range from a few hundred dollars a year to more than $30,000 per year. For that reason alone, an award that simply stated "palliative care" would almost certainly be appealed. In your case, the "palliative care" awarded apparently involved prescription medication.

If an attorney represented you at your trial, he/she is responsible for explaining your decision/award. If you proceeded, pro se (without an attorney) and won, good for you. Now, it's time to read the statute. Please read especially Indiana code 22-3-3-4(4)(c) which I will condense and translate as follows: If an individual in your situation REFUSES care that is provided (in this case a different pharmacy), the employer is within their rights to withhold care and the employee has no recourse until he/she relents.

Accordingly, your employer has the right to make you switch pharmacies or forfeit care.

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