Why Employers Should Pay Attention to their Panel of Physicians
When an employee is injured on the job in the state of Georgia, the employer is obligated to cover the medical and rehabilitation expenses within the limits of the law. The injured employee may select a physician of the employer's selected Panel of Physicians, which is sometimes selected by the employer's insurance company. While insurance companies often provide a panel of physicians for their coverage, the employer can request a change of their Panel of Physicians at any time. As an employer, it is important to know who is on your Panel of Physicians to to ensure they know how to work within the workers' compensation system. Physicians who do not communicate well or who do not understand workers' compensation can prolong treatment, which hurts the employee and skyrockets costs for the employer.
Mike Norris, a licensed and board certified athletic trainer, has been working in the on-site clinic at the Blue Bird bus manufacturing plant in Fort Valley for more than seven years. He and his team offer a variety of services to help Blue Bird manage their workers’ compensation risk and cost. With his specific medical background, Mike and the other athletic trainers offer first aid, initial assessments of injury, physical rehabilitation programs and ergonomics recommendations to prevent re-injury.
Mike is also in constant communication with Blue Bird’s Panel of Physicians. He clearly communicates Blue Bird’s expectations for panel physicians and recommends changes to the panel when a physician is taking actions that unnecessarily prolong a case. Mike’s goal is to help the injured worker get the treatment they need to restore function and get back to work – in light duty settings when necessary – as quickly and safely as possible. Studies show the longer an employee is out of work, the less likely he or she will return.
In this brief video, Mike discusses why it is so important for employers to be aware of and manage their panel of physicians. He also gives tips on what to look for and some of the common pitfalls he has seen over the years.
If you are looking to improve your panel of physicians, we recommend seeking out adjustors, attorneys and experienced workers’ compensation professionals in your area to get the scoop on physicians with the best track record of providing open communication and helping patients rehabilitate and get their lives back.
posted 08/08/2017 in Uncategorized
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