A New Assault on Injured Workers

by Karl Voigt

The Pennsylvania legislature is once again scheming against injured workers, this time in an effort to deny their right to choose their doctors.

As any reader of this blog knows, people who are injured at work are subject to a “captive period” where they have to treat with the employer’s choice of physicians. However, this only lasts a temporary period of 90 days. When the period is over, they are free to choose their own physicians.

However, if the legislature is successful in its efforts, this new law would require treating with company doctors not for 90 days, but for the lifetime of the injury. An employer could force an injured worker to treat with one Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) until death.

Anyone familiar with the care given by a CCO may shudder at this prospect. It is not unusual for the physicians at a CCO — particularly those selected by the employer – to be very sympathetic not to their patient but to the employer.

Naturally, we urge our readers to contact their representatives and let them know their opposition to this proposed legislation.

To read the text of House Bill 1636, go to http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&sessYr=2013&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=1636&pn=2251

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