Workers’ rights and the scope of workers’ compensation go hand in hand, which is why it is so disheartening to see when states pass legislation that limits the scope of workers’ compensation. These laws often seem to be clear concessions to business and insurance lobbies intent on limiting the care that workers can expect to receive for legitimate work-related injuries, in the name of slightly larger profit margins for businesses.
One such way that Pennsylvania limits the scope of workers’ compensation benefits is by requiring that injuries be cared for by someone from an approved list of care providers. Under the current law, workers’ compensation will only pay for care provided by an approved physician during the first 90 days of care. While that may not seem like a very large concession, practically, it means that if you are an employee in Pennsylvania who is seeking care under workers’ compensation, you have no choice in your care provider for three months.
Not only may this take you away from a physician with whom you have an established relationship, you may be receiving subpar care, or care that is given with the employer’s best interest in mind, rather than yours. Three months of care that is given while recommending treatment that is less effective at healing and less costly may result in you suffering permanent consequences because you did not have the care of your personal physician. To make matters worse, the state is considering a law that would extend this restriction to 180 days, or nearly six months. That could be the majority of a recovery from many injuries, all under the care of a physician who may be more beholden to your employer’s bottom line than your care.
Workplace accidents should be taken seriously and treated with the highest level of care available. If you have been injured on the job, you deserve to consult with an experienced attorney about your rights as a worker to make sure that you are getting the most out of your workers’ compensation benefits.
Source: Fleet Owner, “Is workers’ comp under attack?,” Larry Kahaner, Nov. 18, 2016