Okay, so you had a work injury, and thankfully your employers’ workers’ compensation insurance is covering your medical bills and your lost wages. How do you know who to treat with? Well…..in Pennsylvania, all employers are required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance to cover their injured workers. Also, employers are supposed to have a list of “Panel Providers” for the injured workers to choose from to treat with. If the employer has such a list, and follows some other related rules regarding the Panel Providers, then the injured worker is required to treat with the chosen Panel Provider for the first 90 (ninety) days. After those initial 90 days, then the injured worker is free to treat with any other Health Care provider for the work injury.
What if your employer does not have Panel Providers, what do you do then? You are free to treat with whomever you want. While a lot of workers first go to their family physician, it is best to be treated by a specialist, say an orthopedic surgeon or neurologist, depending on what your injury is. Also, it is important to have a Dr. who is savvy in the practice of workers’ compensation, as he or she may be called upon to testify in your case.
When might your Dr. have to testify? If you have a case in litigation before a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Judge, it will most likely involve
some dispute over your medical treatment or the extent of your injuries or disability, and that is when it will be necessary to have your Dr. testify. The more specialized the Dr., the more credence will be given to your case by the assigned Workers’ Compensation Judge.
At some point in time, you will required to attend an Independent Medical Examination by the workers’ compensation carrier, with a Dr. of their choosing. That Dr. will testify on behalf of the insurance company, and in all likelihood, will dispute your Dr. as to your work injury, capability of returning to some type of work, and your extent of disability…..they may even say that you are fully recovered and try to terminate your wage loss and medical benefits.
If you have questions about your specific medical treatment, please feel free to contact Robinson Law LLC for peace of mind by having your questions answered professionally.