Proposed Changes to Workers’ Compensation Act Could Hurt Injured Workers

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is proposing to change the Workers’ Compensation Act in a manner that will likely harm injured workers.  It proposed to change Utilization Review in a manner that will probably make it more difficult for claimants to continue to see their chosen doctors.  The Chamber would be using government to affect injured workers’ healthcare.   The Chamber proposes to eliminate the power of Workers’ Compensation Judges to find treatment to be reasonable and necessary.  It would place the power to make such determination in the hands of medical professionals, presumably ones it would hand-pick when it had a friendly governor in the governor’s mansion.

The Chamber also seeks to change how doctors are paid in Workers’ Compensation cases.  It wants to reduce what doctors receive for treating injured workers.  This would likely reduce the class of physicians willing to treat injured workers and probably reduce the quality of care such individuals would receive.

The Chamber also wants to use government to control people’s healthcare in an additional way.  Presently, if an employer has a list of panel physicians, an injured worker must treat with a member of the panel for the first 90 days of treatment.  The Chamber wants to extend that period to 180 days, effectively eliminating for most injured workers the ability to treat with a physician of his or her choosing.

For more information about proposed changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act, please feel free to contact Attorney Thomas Baumann at Abes Baumann for a free consultation.



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