When you’re injured on the job, the last thing you want is to have your care managed by a strange doctor – but do you have any choice?
In Pennsylvania, the question of who gets to pick your doctor for workers’ compensation is a nuanced issue. Employers typically have the initial choice, but injured workers have avenues to request a change of physician if necessary. Here are the basics you need to know:
The first 90 days might possibly be under your employer’s control
You can seek emergency care wherever and whenever you need it – without regard to any other rules. Once the emergency has passed, however, you will most likely have to choose a doctor from a list of medical providers chosen by your employer. This is only true, however, when:
- Your employer has provided a list of no less than six medical providers, all of whom are geographically accessible
- Your employer has previously notified you in writing, which you acknowledged in return, that you must use their panel of doctors for a workers’ comp claim
- Your employer accepts your workers’ comp claim (rather than refusing it outright)
If this is the situation, then you must select a physician from the list as your provider, although you may change physicians to any other provider on the list at will. After the initial 90 days of treatment have passed, you are then free to seek medical care elsewhere. For a more detailed exposition and discussion of these rules, click here.
Workers’ compensation is supposed to make it easy for people who are injured on the job to get the medical care and replacement wages they need. It’s designed to be a source of stability in a time of crisis. Unfortunately, workers often find that they have to fight for the benefits they’re rightfully due. If there are problems with your claim, or even if you think everything is proceeding as it should (it might not be!), call one of our certified specialist workers’ comp attorneys today.