Workers Compensation Laws

Today we will provide a brief look at just one of the regulations around Workers Compensation Law – Rule 201: Panel of Physicians

Below is article 1 of 3

(a) The employer may satisfy the requirements for furnishing medical care under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-200 in one of the following manners:
(1)(i) The employer may maintain a traditional posted panel of physicians that shall consist of at least six non-associated physicians, but is not limited to a minimum of six. However, the Board may grant exceptions to the required size of the panel where it is demonstrated that more than four physicians or groups of physicians are not reasonably accessible.The physicians selected under this subsection from the panel may arrange for any consultation, referral, and extraordinary or other specialized medical services as the nature of the injury shall require without prior authorization from the Board; provided, however, that any medical practitioner providing services as arranged by a primary authorized treating physician under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-201(b)(1) shall not be permitted to arrange for any additional referrals. The physicians and groups listed on the panel shall be counted as a separate choice from the others listed only if they are not associated with the other physicians and groups listed on the panel. The minimum panel shall include an orthopedic physician, and no more than two physicians shall be from industrial clinics. Further, this panel shall include one minority physician. The minority physician so selected must practice within the State of Georgia or be reasonably accessible to the employee’s residence. “Minority” shall be defined as a group which has been subjected to prejudice based on race, color, sex, handicap or national origin, including, but not limited to Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans or Asian Americans. Failure to include one minority physician on the panel does not necessarily render the panel invalid. The Board reserves the right to allow exceptions when warranted. The employee may make one change from one physician to another on the same panel without prior authorization of the Board. The party which challenges the validity of a panel shall have the burden of proving that the panel violates the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 34-9-201 and Board Rule 201.

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