Bureau of Workers' Compensation Launches Physician Training Program

The Certified Physician Program Benefits Providers and Injured Tennessee Workers
Monday, September 12, 2022 | 11:14am

NASHVILLE –  Employees who suffer work-related injuries face unique challenges when seeking medical treatment. Traditional medical training does not always cover the issues physicians encounter when treating a workers’ compensation patient. Because of this, the Tennessee Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) created the Certified Physician Program (CPP) which provides the specialized training needed to treat injured workers.

The centerpiece of the Certified Physician Program (CPP) is a free, online, self-paced, training course designed to teach physicians additional skills to help them successfully treat and evaluate injured workers. In exchange for accepting workers’ compensation patients, certified physicians are eligible to receive enhanced fees for initial and follow-up visits and for giving final impairment ratings. The CPP is designed to improve the experience for physicians, patients, and others, making it more appealing for physicians to accept workers’ compensation patients.

The CPP includes the Bureau-created training course, a comprehensive exam, and training in the AMA Guides®, 6th Edition that is required to apply for certification. The benefits for participating physicians to take part in CPP include:

  • More exposure to attract business in workers’ compensation. The names and specialties of certified physicians will be published online, providing a directory of workers’ compensation physicians.
  • Enhanced fees for office visits and reports.
  • Greater confidence in knowledge and resources to meet the challenges associated with getting workers’ compensation patients to the best health and return-to-work outcomes.
  • Continuing Medical Education Credits.
  • Training that satisfies requirements for seeking an appointment to the Medical Impairment Rating Registry.
CPP Logo and smartphone with the first module on display in its web browser.

The Bureau has invested in developing the curriculum to provide valuable information on workers’ compensation, its unique challenges, and methods to collaborate with employers and employees to accomplish the goal of successful recovery for injured workers. The training course, Best Practices for Treating and Evaluating Injuring Workers, includes topics such as:

  • Treatment Guidelines
  • Utilization Review
  • Maximum Medical Improvement
  • Permanent Impairment Ratings
  • Court Processes
  • Office Processes & Payment Issues
  • Case Managers & Return-to-Work Coordinators
  • Permanent Restrictions
  • Independent Medical Exams
  • Causation

The Bureau hopes to create a strong network of physicians who are trained in workers' compensation practices to better help injured workers across the state improve their chances of a rapid recovery and effective return to work.  BWC encourages anyone who works with physicians to share information about the new CPP program.

The CPP is an important part of a larger program called REWARD, an acronym for Return Employees to Work And Reduce Disabilities. Several years ago, BWC and its stakeholders began exploring ways to help employers return their employees to their jobs more rapidly and reduce their disabilities after a work injury. In developing the REWARD program, the need for a physician program became clear.

CPP is only open to physicians and chiropractors and can be found at: https://www.tn.gov/workforce/injuries-at-work/employers/employers/bwc-reward-rtw-program/cpp.html

For more information, please contact us at TN.WorkComp@tn.gov.