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Friday, March 18, 2016

NJ Judge Orders Psychotherapy Sessions In Conjunction With Pain Management

A NJ Workers' Compensation Judge Ordered the continuation of medical services to an injured worker who has been struggling for years because of chronic knee pain depression and anxiety despite the objection of the employer who sought to terminate care. The Judge Philip A. Tornetta, Administrative Supervisory  Judge of Compensation, adopted an innovative approach  in attempt to reduce or eliminated prescribed drugs including, "Oxycontin for her knee  pain, Lexapro for depression and Xanax, which helps her sleep."

Judge Tornetta reasoned, ".....In the present case,  I find  and conclude that  petitioner  has reached maximum medical improvement with reference to psychotherapy treatment. Continued  long  term treatment will not change her condition.  The treatment petitioner has received up to this point  has  provided her with the strategies and techniques to help her function and deal with her daily life activities and her self-esteem issues and enable her to  cope with the negative effects her injuries have had on her marriage,  her responsibilities to her young daughter and the challenges that occur in everyday life.  I find there  is nothing to indicate that the continued, long term  attendance  at psychotherapy sessions,  as frequently as has been provided previously, is necessary for  petitioner’s successful, continued use of the techniques and strategies  which have already been  provided to her."

In structured and scheduled system of psychotherapy treatment sessions the Judge provided guidance to the parties in reaching the goal of further medical improvement.

Bannon v. Ridgefield Board of Education, CP#2008-30924 and 2009-33181,(NJ DCW - Bergen County District) Decided Jan. 13, 2016, Post on-line 03-18-2016