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You Shouldn't Have To Fight For Workers' Comp Benefits

How free am I to choose a health care provider under workers’ comp law?

Following a workplace injury, receiving prompt medical treatment from a competent physician is critical in ensuring that a worker doesn’t end up with a medical condition that is worse than it has to be. One of the immediate questions for an injured worker, therefore, is: where can I go for medical care? Is an injured worker allowed to see his or her ordinary physician?

According to Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, injured workers are generally free to receive care at a provider of their own choosing, except in situations where their employer has pre-selected options for them, in which case the injured worker is required to select from that list for the initial visit and the first 90 days of treatment.

Injured workers who receive treatment from a non-listed physician within the first 90 days after the injury may be unable to receive payment for that treatment. That being said, after the 90 days is up or when the employer has not posted a proper list of provider options, the injured worker may receive treatment from a health care provider of their own choosing, provided the employee informs the employer of the selection.

So, to clarify: in order for an employer to be able to limit an injured worker’s choice of physician, their physician list must meet certain requirements. Workers should therefore be knowledgeable about the requirements for a proper physicians list.

In our next post, we’ll look a closer look at this issue and couple other important points for workers to keep in mind with respect to provider selection. 

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