You’re hurt at work in Pennsylvania (PA) and need ongoing medical care. Shortly after you notify your employer, your boss hands you a list of medical providers and tells you to pick one as your physician for the duration of your workers’ compensation claim.
Is that legal? Only if certain conditions are met. Here’s what you need to know:
Your employer may control the situation for the first 90 days
For the first 90 days after your injury and any emergency treatment you receive, your employer can require you to pick a medical provider from a list of “designated providers.” This is only true, however, when:
- The list contains at least six providers (along with their specialties and contact information), three of whom are physicians
- All of the providers are geographically accessible so that you aren’t under an undue travel burden
- The providers specialize in caring for the kinds of injuries that are reasonably anticipated in your line of work
- The written notice of your rights and duties under workers’ compensation was properly posted or provided to you
- You signed this notice when you were hired, when any changes were made to the list of providers and at the time of your injury (or shortly after)
In addition, your employer cannot steer you to any particular physician on the list since that is a violation of your rights. Plus, if you dislike the physician you choose initially, you do have the right to switch to any other provider on the list.
Workers’ comp is supposed to be easy, but the system is rife with abuses. If you need help getting your workers’ compensation benefits, don’t hesitate to learn more.