Using a Company Doctor for a Work Related Injury is Not Required

One of the biggest abuses of the workers compensation system by employers in Pennsylvania is forcing their injured workers to treat with the company chosen doctor when they do not have the right to control the injured workers medical care.

Laws Regarding Medical Care

In general the law permits the employer to control the injured workers initial medical treatment for 90 days after he/she suffers a work injury. However, in order to do so, the employer is obligated to do the following:

  1. Establish a list of designated health care providers.
  2. The list must contain at least 6 DIFFERENT health care providers, including at least 3 different Physicians and no more than 4 Coordinated Care Organizations.
  3. The list must be prominently displayed in a readily accessible place at the work site;i.e., on the employee bulletin board or near the time clock.
  4. The employer must have the injured worker sign the required Notice of Employee Rights and Duties at or about the time the injury occurs or as soon as practicable thereafter.

If the Employer fails to comply with these obligations which are clearly set forth in the Medical Cost Containment Regulations of the PA Workers Compensation Act, the employer is not permitted to control an injured workers medical treatment and he/she can treat with a physician of his/her own choosing.

Identifying Unlawful Employer Conduct

One of the surest ways to know that your employer is not following the Medical Cost Containment Regulations, is when your employer instructs you to go to one particular facility such as Employee Health, Worknet, WorkHealth, Etc and does not let you choose your own doctor from a list posted at work.

Since these "company doctors" work with the employers and workers compensation carriers, their goal is usually to ensure you go back to work as quickly as possible  and they do not always give you the best medical treatment you deserve or require.

If you believe that you have been subjected to improperly employer controlled medical treatment after reporting your injury to your employer, you should contact an experienced workers compensation lawyer to learn about all your rights pursuant to the Workers Compensation Act, so that you can get all the benefits that you deserve, including but not limited to proper medical treatment.

The information in this article is a cursory look at some important aspects of the workers’ compensation system.  Only an experienced and competent workers’ compensation attorney can actually determine what the best course of action is for each individual injured worker.

An attorney client relationship requires a signed agreement between the client and attorney.  Nothing in this article should be taken as legal advice to a client and no relationship with The Law Offices of Richard A Jaffe is created without a written agreement for legal services.


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