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Georgia Compliance



Physician Selection  34-9-201, Rule 201 

The employee must choose from a list maintained by the employer. An employee may obtain the services of any physician from the panel and may thereafter elect to change to another physician on the panel without prior authorization from the Board. The physician so selected will become the primary treating physician in control of the employee's medical care.  

The employer may satisfy the requirements for furnishing medical care in one of the following manners: 

a. A   traditional posted panel of physicians shall consist of at least six physicians   or profession associations or corporations of physicians who are 
reasonably accessible to the employees, but is not limited to   the minimum of six. However, should a physician on the panel of physicians refuse to provide treatment to an employee who previously has received treatment from another panel physician, the employer/insurer, as soon as practicable, shall increase the panel for that employee by one physician for each such refusal. 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 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.

b. An employer or the workers' compensation insurer of an employer may contract with a workers' compensation managed care organization certified 
pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-208 and Board Rule 208. An employer utilizing a WC/MCO may satisfy the notice requirements by posting a notice in 
prominent places upon the business premises which includes the following information:   
(A) The employer has enrolled with the specified WC/MCO to provide all necessary medical treatment for workers' compensation injuries. 
An employee with an injury prior to enrollment may continue to receive treatment from the non-participating authorized treating physician until the 
employee elects to utilize the WC/MCO;  
(B)   The effective date of the WC/MCO;   
(C)   The geographical service area (by counties);   
(D)   The telephone number and address of the administrator for the employer and/or WC/MCO who can answer questions about the managed care plan;   
(E)   How the employee can access care with the WC/MCO and the toll-free 24-hour telephone number of the managed care plan that informs employees of available services.   

An employee may obtain the services of any physician from the panel and may make one change to another physician on the panel without approval of the employer.or without prior authorization from the Board. The physician so selected will become the primary treating physician in control of the employee's medical care. Further changes require approval of the employer/insurer or the Board.

Posting of Panel

The employer must post in prominent places the type of panel chosen. Employers must fully explain the purpose of the panel to all employees and must assist employees in obtaining medical care when an injury occurs.

Failure to comply with this regulation results in the employee's freedom to select any physician to provide them with care for his or her injuries, and may result in an assessment of penalties and attorneys' fees against the employer.