When you are hurt on the job and are looking for the right doctor under the state’s workers’ compensation law to treat you, you want the right information available to you without any hassle. That is why Pennsylvania law requires that employers create a list of health care providers for a worker to choose from. This list comes with certain stipulations that an employer must follow to make the selection as clear as possible to employees.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry website, an employer has the duty to make the employee aware of his or her rights and duties at the time of hiring, which includes a list of designated health care providers. The employee has to sign the notice at the time of being hired. However, an employee may have to sign the notice again if the list is changed or if the employee is injured.
State law also makes certain requirements of how an employer may choose the providers. The list should contain at least six providers with three of the providers being physicians. However, a provider can be more than just a physician. The provider should also be in reasonable geographical proximity. A worker should not have to travel a long distance to seek treatment.
An employer also has to pick health care providers that will likely be needed to treat the possible injuries of workers who get hurt at the place of employment. A workplace where burn injuries may occur will require a medical provider who can treat skin burns and associated trauma. A jobsite where workers may experience back or muscle injuries will likewise need a qualified provider to be listed.
The employer must also respect the rights of the worker in regards to the list. The employer cannot direct a worker towards a particular provider. It is up to the worker to choose the provider he or she desires. A worker also retains the right to switch from one provider to another that is on the list. In the event a worker cannot locate a designated provider that specializes in the injury of the worker, the employee is permitted to find a preferred provider that can handle it.
This article is not intended to offer legal advice. Because the needs of injured workers in Pennsylvania will vary, this article is meant to provide information on the state’s workers’ compensation system and how workers may benefit from it.