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Do I have to go to the doctor my employer tells me to?

| Nov 16, 2020 | Workers' Compensation

Workplace injuries can leave employees fighting to survive while returning to a state of pre-accident health. Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits exist to help secure their finances while recovering. In Pennsylvania, however, employees tend to be at the mercy of the physicians list provided by their workplace.

The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act gives employers the right to designate certain health care providers employees must use in the event of a workplace injury. If these conditions are met, employees have little choice but to seek treatment from someone on this list – even if they fear it is not the right doctor for them. The guidelines provided in the Act can include:

  • A notice of employee’s rights and duties must be signed when the employee is hired, whenever changes are made to the list of physicians and at the time of injury.
  • The list must contain no less than six providers and three of the six must be physicians.
  • Listed providers must be geographically accessible.
  • Listed providers must contain specialties appropriate for the anticipated work injuries that might be suffered.

In several instances, the worker might be able to seek care from a provider outside the physicians list, including:

  • If a specialty directly related to the work injury is not on the list of providers.
  • If none of the providers are geographically accessible.
  • If the list of designated providers fails to follow the guidelines set forth in the Act.
  • If the employer forces the employee to select a specific provider from the list.

It is not uncommon for an employee to feel uneasy seeking medical treatment for a work injury from a list provided by their employer. In these situations, it is wise to contact a skilled Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney who can thoroughly examine your situation and provide guidance centering on your own best interests. Don’t hesitate to seek representation.

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