Having a “Panel of Providers” is essential to the work comp process. Employees are notified when hired, that there is an approved panel of medical providers that they are to see in the event of a work-related injury. While insurance carriers have a recommended panel of physicians, hospitals and medical facilities that they work well with, the insured (your company) should be able to have input into what doctors/facilities are listed on the Panel. These providers have the same goal as the company. That is to be certain that the employee receives the proper care and treatment as well as to get them back to work as soon as possible after recovery.
Should the work related injury require hospital or medical attention, the person in charge of injury management has the right to, and should accompany (or meet) the employee at the doctors office, hospital or medical facility. Some companies will insist that the Injury Manager be with the injured employee as soon as physically possible after the injury occurs and then stay with the injured employee through the first hours of treatment, whether it is at a doctor’s office, the hospital or the physical rehabilitation center. Often times, the injury is such (a non-emergency) that it can be treated in a doctor’s office instead of a hospital thus saving considerable dollars for the company or the insurance carrier. A good Injury Manager can assist in this initial determination. Once at the doctor’s office (or hospital outpatient facility) should the medical professional decide that additional treatment is necessary, the injured employee and the Injury Manager can be transported to the recommended facility. The Injury Manager should then communicate with the doctor in charge so as to ascertain what additional immediate treatment is needed (if necessary) as well as what aftercare may be required.