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Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
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Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP)

Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC)

District Office 2 — New York — Items of Interest


Did you know that OWCP has available the OWCP Agency Query System, which allows authorized users (agency compensation personnel and others) access to the OWCP data base on the world wide web on a real time basis? To get access, you must first determine your organizations policy on such access and then register with our National Office by contacting this email address:

Use of CA-16 for initial authorizations

This office has received a number of inquiries from employing agencies, their employees, and medical providers, requesting authorization for diagnostic testing, physical therapy, etc. Often, these requests are received before a case file has been created, and the lack of authorization results in a longer period of disability.

To resolve at least some of these problems, you are advised that a properly competed CA-16 is such a authorization. This letter may be photocopied and mailed/faxed to providers who want assurance from OWCP that such procedures will be paid for.

U.S. Department of Labor
Employment Standards Administration
201 Varick Street
Room 740
New York, N.Y. 10014

To medical providers

This office often receives requests for authorizations for physical therapy, diagnostic testing, etc, for cases that have not yet been created by this office. In such cases, we are unable to provide the authorization requested. This has the unintended effect of prolonging the period of disability for delaying recovery for the employee. In many instances, form CA-16 was issued by the employing agency. I am taking this opportunity to state our policy on cases for which form CA-16 was issued by the employing agency.

Form CA-16 is a contractual obligation by this office to pay for medical services by or at the direction of the provider whose name appears on the front of the form. The obligation is for a period of 60 days and is good for examination, referral to consultants, laboratory tests, diagnostic tests (including MRI's, etc), physical therapy (when authorized by the physician whose name appears on form CA-16), hospitalization and emergency surgery. Non-emergency surgery must have prior OWCP approval.

To minimize difficulties, it is recommended that all bills and medical reports be submitted through the employing agency. If authorization for physical therapy beyond the 60 day period is requested, you should be as specific as possible, concerning the type of therapy, frequency and duration. If surgery is being requested, the report should include a history of injury, course of conservative therapy provided, if any, and the results.

It is hoped that the Form CA-16 issued should eliminate most of the waiting for authorizations which providers and their patients sometimes endure. If there are any difficulties, you should contact the employing agency in cases for which there is no case file number.