Getting injured on the job can be a painful and frustrating experience. Dealing with the injuries, pain, stress and worry alone are difficult enough. Add to that the frustrations and gamesmanship used by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier … or even worse … your employer to limit and restrict your ability to get the proper medical treatment needed.
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act and Regulations are loaded with laws and guidelines for employers, insurers, and injured workers to follow when approaching the prospects of treating for an on-the-job injury. Believe it or not, the laws also carry mandates and guidelines for doctors who treat injured workers. As one might expect, the ability of doctors to get paid for the treatment is driven by these laws.
Recently, House Bill 1800 was introduced. In basic terms, House Bill 1800 seeks to change the amount of control that doctors have in prescribed treatment for injured workers. Presently, doctors are afforded the right to exercise discretion and judgment based upon their education, training and experience when suggesting a given course of care. If enacted, House Bill 1800 would strip doctors of their discretion and judgment and force our trusted healthcare providers to follow a standardized, statistic driven, one-size fits all, “evidence based” approach to workers’ compensation related treatment. House Bill 1800 is a favorite of the insurance industry and corporate special interests. Its ultimate goal claims to cut costs; even if those cost cuts are realized at the expense of the injured worker.
For those who have been injured on the job, you know the frustrations of the claims process and the difficulties presented with getting necessary medical care. The last thing that injured workers need is another obstacle to overcome in the healing process. We encourage you to contact your local state representative and voice your opposition to House Bill 1800. We are individuals not statistics. Tell your legislators to leave the healing to those who we trust and who know how to do it best – our doctors.
Michael A. O’Donnell, Esq.
O’Donnell Law Offices
267 Wyoming Avenue
Kingston, Pa. 18702
Certified as a specialist in the practice of workers’ compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Section on Workers’ Compensation Law as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.