What is the 90-Day Rule?

December 01, 2017

If you are injured in Pennsylvania, your employer may have a list of physicians and other medical professionals for you to see after a work injury.  Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation laws state that injured employees must treat with a physician or other licensed medical providers on their employer’s panel list for the first 90 days.
Many people believe that you have to treat with the company panel doctor for 90 days following the date of injury, but this is not always the case. The 90-day rule applies to the date an injured worker first began their medical treatment. Oftentimes, people will delay seeing a doctor with hopes that they will improve.  However, when their symptoms persist, and they do see a doctor, it is at that time that the “90-day rule” takes effect. 
This rule only applies when your employer has a panel list of physicians. If your company does not have a panel, you may treat with a physician of your choice.
What about surgery? If within the 90-day period a panel doctor recommends surgery, you may seek a second surgical opinion with a physician of your choice or from another doctor on the panel.  However, if the second opinion doctor is not on your employer’s panel and feels surgery is needed, you must then return to a panel doctor to have the surgery performed. Again, the only time you can see a physician who is not on your employer’s panel is after 90 days when you first began medical treatment.   
You may wish to check with your company to see if OAA Orthopaedic Specialists is on their panel list of physicians. We have offices in Allentown, Bethlehem, and Lehighton and treat work related injuries at all three office locations. Feel free to contact our workers’ compensation department if you have any questions about workers’ compensation or a work-related injury.