The Importance of a Worker’s Compensation Physicians Panel

Posted January 18, 2012 Company News

One way to reduce the cost of worker’s compensation claims and better manage the medical and disability is to direct the injured employee to a panel physician. In order to exercise the right to direct medical treatment in the state of Pennsylvania, the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation mandates that an employer post a panel of medical providers in an area where employees will see it.

The panel must be comprised of at least 6 health care providers. Two of the health care providers can be coordinated care organizations but no fewer than three must be physicians. It is recommended that one of the six providers be a chiropractor as this is an accepted medical provider by the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation.

The health care providers must be geographically accessible and must have specialties that are appropriately based on the anticipated work injury.

The Posting Notice must contain the names of the medical providers, their addresses and telephone numbers.

The employer must specify on the list if any of the health care providers are employed, owned or controlled by the employer or its worker’s compensation insurance company.

The Notice must also contain the name, address and telephone number of your Worker’s Compensation Carrier.

A copy of the Physicians Panel should be given to each employee with an Acknowledgement of Rights and Duties. This form should be read by every employee, signed, and returned to be kept in the employee’s personnel file. In the event of a work injury, another Acknowledge of Rights and Duties must be signed by the injured employee reminding them of the panel.

The employee is required to treat with a Panel doctor for the first 90 days in order for medical benefits to be paid under the Worker’s Compensation policy. The employee may choose to treat with their family doctor but the carrier will not be obligated to pay the medical bills.

After 90 days the employee is permitted to change physicians, with notice to the employer or insurance carrier. This notice must be given within 5 days of the first treatment. Payment to the new provider will be made if that provider files the required reports. The new provider must file a report within 10 days of the first treatment and at least once a month thereafter.

 

If you have further questions about Physicians Panel, please contact our Claims Department at [email protected] .

 


Please note that the information contained in this document is designed to provide authoritative and accurate information, in regard to the subject matter covered. However, it is not provided as legal or tax advice and no representation is made as to the sufficiency for your specific company’s needs. This document should be reviewed by your legal counsel or tax consultant before use.