Illinois Workers' Compensation Act Preferred Providers Program

Illinois Workers' Compensation Preferred Providers Program Lawyer

Illinois Workers' Compensation Attorneys

In the state of Illinois, The Workers' Compensation Act provides that accidents that arise out of and in the course of employment are eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits. This Act covers injuries that result in whole or in part from the employee's work. Additionally, in the state of Illinois an employee is covered under this Act from the moment they start their job.

In 2011, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act was reformed to give employees access to Preferred Providers for their medical treatment. When Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed HB 1698 into law, Illinois employers were given the ability to employ a Preferred Provider Program (PPP) to direct their injured workers to participating providers for emergency care and on-going treatment. Even though this Act was revised back in 2011, it wasn't until March of this year that the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IWCC) introduced the mandatory approval process to become a Preferred Provider under the reformed law.

The intent of this reform is to aid employers in controlling medical costs while still providing their employees with high quality health care options. Employees are also given more flexibility to choose their medical provider when injured on the job. With a Preferred Providers Program (PPP), employees have two choices of medical providers from within their employer's network. However, if for some reason the second choice physician does not provide adequate medical care the employee is then allowed to choose a medical provider outside of their employer's PPP.

If no PPP is in place, employees have free choice of medical providers limited to a maximum of two different choices along with any referrals that may result from those two choices.

Requirements Within the Illinois Preferred Providers Program

There are two main requirements within the reformed Illinois Act in order for employers to adopt the PPP direction of care process. The first requirement is the PPP must be approved by the Illinois Department of Insurance. As part of the approval process, the Illinois Department of Insurance will review each applicant to ensure that the medical provider has the appropriate degree of practice and focus on occupational medicine. The evaluation process of medical providers is based upon medical quality and patient outcome results.

Secondly, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission must circulate a notification form to employers. Employees must be notified of the Preferred Providers Program on the form that was declared by the IWCC. The forms must be given to the injured employee at the time of their accident or injury. In addition, the forms must be posted throughout the workplace or job site.

What if an Illinois Employer Asks You to Undergo an Examination by Their Own Physician for a Work injury?

If your employer asks you to be examined by one of their own physicians, this would be an independent medical evaluation. If your employer requests an independent medical evaluation, the exam must be conducted at your employer's expense. The exam has to also be completed at a practical time and place. Furthermore, your employer will be responsible for payment of your time lost from employment, if applicable to the appointment.

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act Reform Benefits Employers and Employees

The reformed Illinois Workers' Compensation Act is a win-win situation for employees and their employers. The addition of the Preferred Providers Program (PPP) has the ultimate goal of delivering adequate medical care that addresses and treats the injured worker's specific injury or illness. This means providing timely, high quality care that will help get the injured worker back to their pre-injury condition as quickly and proficiently as possible.

If you were recently injured in a work-related accident or have questions about your protections involving injuries on the job contact the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will help answer any workers' compensation questions you may have. We serve clients throughout Cook County and the Chicago area. Call our office at 630-574-2288 or fill out our online contact form for a free initial consultation.

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