In Pennsylvania workers’ compensation, the first line of medical treatment is usually what we refer to as the employer’s panel physician, otherwise known by many clients as the company doctor. Time and time again, I have clients come to me that either have had poor medical treatment or the panel doctor refuses to listen to them.
Let’s talk briefly about this ‘company doctor’ requirement. There are a few things you need to know about treating with the panel doctor.
Pennsylvania panel doctor provision
The panel provision of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act provides that injured workers treat with a doctor on a panel list of the employer for the first 90 days. Now, there are caveats to this provision. First, your employer has to comply with specific steps for the panel provision to even be applicable. In many cases, employers do not fulfill these requirements. You can read more about them here. Second, the panel provider list has specific requirements on the types of doctors that must be included on the list. Third, if your employer fulfills the panel provision requirements, they still cannot dictate which medical provider on the panel list that you are to treat with. You are free to choose whichever provider on the list you want. Finally, always remember, if your work injury is denied, the panel provision does not apply. You can treat wherever and with whoever you wish.
What if the panel doctor will not listen to you?
So what do you do if the panel doctor is not providing effective treatment or listening to you? You have a few options. First, you can choose another provider on the panel list. Second, you can go to your own doctor. What the panel provision requirement means is if you choose to treat off the panel within the first 90 days, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier does not have to pay for that treatment. It does not mean that you CAN’T treat with your own. It simply means that you or your private health insurance will be responsible for that medical bill.
If you have questions about medical treatment, the panel provision, or concerns about your medical care after a work injury, do not hesitate to call Mooney Law. We can help. Our workers’ compensation consultations are always free. Remember, our fees are on a contingency basis. That means, we only recover if we recover for YOU! Call today at 717-632-4656 or 717-200-HELP to schedule a free consultation. You can also email the firm to request a consultation at email@example.com. Finally, you can visit our website and complete the Schedule a Consultation form.