Pa. Work Injury- Where And How Can I Get Treatment For A Pennsylvania Work Injury?

Date: October 20, 2011
Posted In: DLP Law
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            The Pa. Workers’ Compensation Act gives employers the right to establish a list of designated health care providers with whom injured workers are required to seek treatment for a work injury. The physicians on these lists are called “panel physicians”. When the “panel physician”  list is properly posted, the injured worker must seek treatment for the work injury or illness with one of the designated providers for 90 days from the date of the first visit. However, there are also specific guidelines provided in the workers compensation  rules and regulations for these lists. For instance, the employer must provide a clearly written notice to employee of the employee’s rights and duties which must be signed by the employee at the time of hire, whenever changes are made in the list and at the time of injury. The list must contain at least six providers and  three of the six providers must be physicians. Each provider’s name, address, telephone number and specialty must be included on the list and the providers must be geographically accessible. If a particular medical specialty is not on the list and the specialty care is reasonable and necessary for treatment of the work injury, the employee will be allowed to treat with a health care provider of his or her choosing. While the list is required to contain specifics with respect to the medical providers, the employer may not direct the employee to any specific provider on the list. The employee may also switch from one designated provider to another designated provider. If the employer’s “panel list” of designated providers fails to comply with these requirements, the employee has the right to treat with a provider of his or her own choice.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive.  Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column. 

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.