Q. 13. May I choose to treat with my physician under the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act?
Unless your employer has posted a list of medical providers with whom you must treat in connection with a work injury, you have the right to choose your own physician. If, however, your employer has posted a list of at least six (6) designated health care providers, no fewer than three (3) of whom are physicians, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act requires you to treat with one or more of these medical providers for a period of ninety (90) days from the date of the first visit to the provider. If the list is not posted, and you are not told of your rights, you are under no obligation to treat with any medical provider recommended by your employer.
If the employer has posted a list of medical providers, you have a right to choose any of the providers on the list. The Workers’ Compensation Act does not give your employer the right to force you to treat with a specific provider on the list.
If you do not comply with this particular provision, the employer and its workers’ compensation insurance company are not required to pay for health care services provided during this period. Your refusal to treat with an employer’s panel physician does not relieve the employer of its obligation to pay wage loss benefits to you during your period of disability. You may, however, have to pay for your work-related medical treatment, because your health insurance company may not be responsible for medical bills incurred during this period of time.
In the event that a dispute arises concerning the insurance company’s obligation to pay for medical bills incurred during this period of time, your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier must produce a document signed by you in which you acknowledge that you understood your rights and duties under this section of the PA Workers’ Compensation Act.
If you have questions and would like to discuss a work injury or workers’ compensation claim with us, please feel free to call Willig, Williams & Davidson and its work injury lawyers at 1-866-413-COMP (2667) or 1-215-656-3600.
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