Work-related injuries necessitate workers receiving some level of medical treatment. Many Pennsylvania workers believe that it is mandatory they obtain treatment from doctors chosen by their employer or insurance carrier. While the law provides employers with some input in the decision of where an injured worker will seek treatment, after the passage of the requisite time period, workers may seek treatment from any healthcare provider available to the general public. The time period consists of ninety days.
The Act gives employers the right to establish a “panel list” of designated health care providers for posting in the workplace pursuant to state regulations. If an employer has properly posted the panel list, injured workers must seek medical treatment with one of the providers from the list for 90 days from the date of the first medical visit.
The panel list must contain at least six providers; three of the six must be physicians, with the name, address, telephone number, and specialty of each provider included on the list. If a particular specialty is not on the list and the specialty care is reasonable and necessary for the treatment of the work-related injury, employees may treat with a health care provider of their choice.
Employers may not require or tell an employee to seek treatment with a certain provider on the list. Employees may switch designated providers at any time. Listed providers must be geographically accessible to an injured worker, and must perform specialties that treat the anticipated, work-related injuries or medical conditions of the employee.
If an employer’s list of designated providers fails to comply with the Act and underlying regulations, the employee has the right to treat with a provider of choice. Employers frequently do not meet all of the posting requirements, resulting in injured workers being allowed to treat with a doctor of their choosing with full workers’ compensation insurance coverage, i.e., employer responsibility for payment.
Our decades of experience make us the clear and obvious choice for representation in workers’ compensation cases in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE, and you don’t pay unless we win!