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Work Comp & Virtual or Field Employees

With the increased use of remote labor it's a good time to review the best practices for Workers Compensation Posting Notices and Physician Panels. The Physician Panel is a document provided by the Workers Compensation insurance company listing the approved doctors to provide care to injured employees.  These doctors are selected by the insurance company as physicians trained to help your employee get better and get back to work.  You should receive a new Physician Panel every year with your Workers Compensation renewal package.   

If an employer does not have their panel of physicians posted at the time of a claim or the panel is not made available to the employee then the medical expense portion of the work comp claim can skyrocket uncontrollably.  There are, unfortunately, many doctors that see an injured employee as a revenue source for endless treatments.  This, of course, has an adverse impact on the employer’s future Work Comp insurance costs.  With field employees or virtual employees the employer just needs to make the panel of physicians available at the time of the claim to avoid this increased liability.  They don’t need to post a physician panel in every employee’s truck or home, it just needs to be made readily available at the time of a claim.  That means that employees should be made aware that all injuries should be immediately reported to upper management in the company and that management should have access to the panel of physicians to provide to the injured employee.  This obligates the employee to use the approved medical providers who are trained to get the employee back to work thus reducing claim expenses.  If the employer's physician panel does not have a provider within a reasonable distance of the employee at the time of a claim then the employer should contact the insurance company and the insurance company will provide a list of providers in the injured employee's vicinity.  This prompt response also reduces the increased liability associated with out of network care.  

For those employers with employees present at a physical location, the best practice remains posting the physician panel with your other required employer postings.  

Do you have additional questions about how to handle the risks associated with increased remote employment?  We would be happy to discuss them with you.  Just contact us today.

Kevin DiPetrillo
Southern Insurance Advisors