Hello, Ty Wilson here, and our Georgia workers' compensation question today is what is a posted panel of physicians? What does it look like? Where can you find it, and what do you do with it? So, those are some great questions.
What is required under Georgia law is that the employer has what's called a posted panel of physicians if they want to control medical care for the work injury. So, typically, that is something that is posted up in a breakroom or where they have other government documentation printed up, such as federal wage and hour rules, minimum wage law rules, and all the stuff that people see all the time, but they never really take a close look at.
Well, that's typically where the posted panel of physicians is.
There are several rules that are related. We're not going to get into that as this would be a very long podcast otherwise, there should be at least six doctors. It's important if you need help with the panel, the question is, is it a legally valid panel. The easiest thing to do is to take a picture of the panel, reach out to an attorney or reach out to our office, we'll do it absolutely free of charge.
Why is that important? Well, it's important because if it's a legally valid panel by law, you need to remain on the panel and choose one of those doctors. Another reason if it's not a legally valid panel, then you get to choose whoever you want to go to as a doctor as long as they accept workers' compensation patients, and that can change everything.
Whoever controls the medical care in a claim controls the claim. It can be the difference between being taken out of work or put on light duty or being sent back to work full duty even though you're in pain.
There is a form. If you would like to see the form, you can go to the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation. Do a Google search, and when you get there, you want to look at forms, and when you see forms, there is a list of all the forms. That will give you a blank form as to what it looks like and what should be posted.
If there is not one posted, you do need to still reach out to the employer. You need to talk to them. Say I need medical care as it relates to my work injuries; what are the list of doctors, is what we can refer to a posted panel as, as well.
What is the list of doctors I have to choose from so I can get my medical care? Okay? So, that will cover what does it look like. We talked about where you can typically find it. It should be posted up somewhere. And what do you do with it? Well, once you find a panel, you want to look at it, you want to see is this panel legally valid, is this panel not legally valid. If you don't care about that, and you just want to get medical care, well you can select it. Sometimes some of these doctors on these lists can be friends of the employer, but you can certainly select one of them. You'll need to contact the adjuster who is also typically listed on the panel, and set up an appointment as each and every medical appointment in a workers' compensation claim must be authorized and approved by the insurance company on the workers' compensation side. There is obviously exceptions if there is an emergency situation. However, if it's not an emergency situation, it needs to be approved. So, it has to go through the workers' compensation insurance adjuster, and they're going to want to know what happened and get an idea of how you got injured. And so, that's all going to have to go through your conversation with your employer, whether it be HR, whether it be your boss or your supervisor. So, we hope that that has answered those questions.