The Myth of the 90 Day Rule – Why Injured Workers in Pennsylvania Almost Never Have to Treat With the Company Doctor

Published on: June 6, 2023

The constant mantra that injured workers in Pennsylvania must treat with a “company doctor” for 90 days, or they won’t receive their workers’ compensation benefits, is a myth, albeit one that many attorneys who represent injured workers erroneously accept as gospel. This podcast, by Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney Daniel J. Siegel, shreds the myth that injured workers are required to treat with a designated physician, often called the company doctor.

Attorney Daniel J. Siegel explains why, under  Section 306(f.1)(1)(i) of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, injured workers, often called claimants, rarely, if ever, are required to go to comp clinics or company doctors. The law says that before any injured worker must treat with any employer-designated medical provider, the employer must “provide a clearly written notification” of the employee’s rights and duties to the employee, and … obtain a “written acknowledgment” by the employee that they have been advised of the requirement. Verbal notice alone is inadequate. In fact, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania created its own form, “Notice: Medical Treatment for Your Work Injury or Occupational Illness,” to dispel the myth.

In reality, most employers do not comply with this section of the Act; most injured workers do not have to treat with the so-called company doctor following a work injury. Despite this, many employers and insurance companies routinely tell injured employees they must go to a particular doctor or clinic, or the insurance company will not pay for their medical care. These statements are actually misrepresentations of the Workers’ Compensation Act, which never gives an employer or insurance company the right to (1) mandate that an injured worker treat with only one provider or (2) “pre-deny” payment for care under most circumstances. Sadly, based upon the “90-Day Rule,” many doctors refuse to treat injured workers for 90 days after their injuries because they have heard or been told that they will not be paid for any care they provide because of the “90-Day Rule.”

This podcast tells you the truth about the law from an attorney with a nearly 40-year track record of representing injured workers and winning case after case in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. These cases have protected the rights of injured workers. Dan’s firm, the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC, knows the law and treats every client personally; there is no bureaucracy, and no TV ads or billboards to pay for, just old-fashioned one-on-one lawyering.