Proposed amendment to PA Work Comp Act may jeopardize injured workers’ health

February 13, 2015

protect medical treatment

 

On February 4, 2015, Representative David Hickernell has again proposed an Amendment to the Workers' Compensation Act that would extend the medical captive period from 90 days to 180 days. This could greatly impact the quality of injured workers’ medical care. 

 

What is the medical captive period?

The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act has a medical captive period in it called “the 90-day rule.” For the first 90 days, you may be required to see a doctor provided by your employer (known as a panel doctor.) You are ONLY required to see a panel doctor if specific requirements are met during the course of your employment, including:

  • Your employer must provide a clearly written notice to you of your rights and responsibilities

  • You must sign the notice at the time of hire, whenever a change is made to the list, and at the time of the injury

  • The list must contain at least six providers; three of these six providers must be physicians

 

In most cases, these conditions are not met. Remember, you are ALWAYS able to treat with your own doctor, but if you are required to see a panel doctor for the first 90 days any other medical treatment will usually require you to pay out of pocket. 

 

What does this mean for injured workers’ health?

Raising the medical captive period from 90-180 days puts a strain on both the workers’ injuries and their pockets. Some panel doctors can further aggravate patients’ injuries because of their careless bedside manner. During this captive period, if patients would like to treat with their usual physician, they must pay out of pocket just to get quality care. 

 

Though most of the time the guidelines for the 90-day rule are not met, we need to protect those who do fit the criteria from subpar medical treatment. 

 

We urge you to email Representative David Hickernell directly at Dhickern@pahousegop.com, and urge him to stand up for his constituents’ rights to quality medical treatment. 

 

Read the full text of the proposed Amendment here.

  

Share

Select an attorney

Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation

If you get hurt on the job, you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries. Our attorneys will help you file your claim successfully.
Learn More

Social Security Disability

If you have a medical condition and can not work, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.
Learn More

My Case Status for Existing Clients

All current clients have access to My Case Status. This website allows them access to check the status and progression of their case, update their information, securely send and receive medical and case-related documents, contact their legal team, and watch helpful videos.

Click here to access My Case Status.

Learn More