Provider Panel Considerations

What is a panel?

A valid panel is a list of at least three different providers from at least three different practice groups from which the claimant may select an authorized treating provider.

Once a provider is selected from a panel, the claimant is limited to treating with that provider and with the referrals made by that provider.

Why is a panel important?

The panel is an important tool, as it provides some control to the employer and carrier in limiting which doctors the claimant may treat with in the workers’ compensation claim. After the treating physician is established in a claim, it can be difficult for either party to later change treating physicians unless all parties agree.

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Virginia Workers’ Compensation Legislative Alert: Proposed Legislation 2022

Twenty proposed bills related to workers’ compensation are currently pending before the Virginia General Assembly. Read further for summaries of important proposed legislation targeting:

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Commission Further Defines What Constitutes a Compensable Injury by Accident

wORKERS’ COMPENSATION DEFENSE DIGEST | JANUARY 2022

The claim below represents another example of how the Commission is distinguishing compensable, identifiable events from non-compensable cumulative/repetitive trauma. 

INTRODUCTION

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Recent Opinion Finds Employers Responsible for Cost of FCE Impairment Rating

This Recent Opinion is a Departure

In its recent Opinion in Elliott v. Sam Green Vault Corp., JCN VA00001108316 (Oct. 5, 2021), the Commission departs from its prior rulings, with one Commissioner dissenting. 

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Updates From The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission & General Assembly

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION DEFENSE DIGEST | FEB 2021

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Proposed Bills Seek to Create Presumption for some COVID-19 Claims under the Workers’ Compensation Act

COVID-19 EDITION | Coronavirus & Comp Updates

LEGISLATIVE ALERT

      • Several bills regarding COVID-19 and its treatment under workers’ compensation have been introduced at this week’s Special Session of the Virginia General Assembly.

      • Specifically, these bills seek to establish a presumption of compensability for COVID-19 have been referred to committee for consideration. See details below for proposed bills: HB 5028; SB 5066, SB 5097, and SB 5104;  and SB 5022.

HB 5028 

Proposed amendment to Va. Code §65.2-402.1, to be retroactive to January 1, 2020: COVID-19 causing the death of, or any health condition or impairment resulting in total or partial disability of, any (i) firefighter, as defined in § 65.2-102; (ii) law-enforcement officer, as

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Coronavirus and a Remote Workforce: A Dual Review of Workers’ Compensation & Employment Law Concerns


SPECIAL EDITION | Coronavirus & Comp Updates

      • The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have caused many changes in how we work in Virginia.  Office workers and teachers are some of the many types of employees who have transitioned to working remotely because of Governor Northam’s Executive Orders closing schools and encouraging telework. With a large part of the workforce working remotely and/or from home, there are several issues for employers and carriers to consider.  

Workers’ Compensation Concerns

Arising Out Of

Added risks in the employee’s home workspace are likely to be “conditions of the work place” meeting the arising out of element of a workers’ compensation claim. 

Three Case Examples:

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Coronavirus, Nursing Homes and In-Home Care Providers

SPECIAL EDITION | Coronavirus & Comp Updates

      • Compensability and Burden of Proof

A nursing home employee or in-home health care professionals can prove a compensable coronavirus claim, by showing that their coronavirus diagnosis:

1. arose out of and in the course of the employment;

2. did not come from causes outside of work; and, 

3. that coronavirus is an infectious or contagious disease contracted in the course of employment in a nursing home or in the direct delivery of healthcare.

The second and third elements will likely be the most difficult to prove.  

Nursing Homes are at the Highest Risk of Being Affected

However, as COVID-19 spreads in the United States, confirmed cases in nursing homes and long-term care facilities have continued to rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has indicated that nursing homes are at the highest risk of being

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All COVID-19 Related Updates From The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWC) and More

COVID-19 EDITION | Coronavirus & Comp Updates

The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWC) is responsible for carrying out the requirements of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, while administering Virginia's workers’ compensation program, meeting legal requirements and providing various protections.

Also included are relevant updates from other organizations, such as the WCIO.  

We will continually update this article as announcements are made. Scroll to the list of  links to each Order with summaries appearing below.

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Cornavirus and Workers' Compensation in Virginia - Part 3: First Responder Presumption Cases

SPECIAL EDITION | Coronavirus & Comp Updates

Read the full 4-part Workers’ Comp and COVID-19 Update.

Va. Code §65.2-402 provides first responders with a presumption that respiratory and heart diseases, as well as certain other medical conditions, are compensable.  If the Commission analyzes a coronavirus claim under this code, could it find in the claimant’s favor?

Va. Code §65.2-402 provides first responders with a presumption that respiratory and heart diseases, as well as certain other medical conditions, are compensable.  To defeat the claim, the defendants must show that the claimant’s disease was not caused by the employment and that a non-work-related cause of the disease existed.  If the Commission analyzes a coronavirus claim under Va. Code §65.2-402, it may well find in the claimant’s favor, depending upon how the coronavirus is ultimately found to effect other health conditions.   

A Claim Involving Virally Induced Heart Disease in a Police Officer

The claimant in Town of Purcellville Police v. Bromser-Kloeden, 35 Va. App. 252 (2001) was a police officer seeking workers’ compensation benefits for virally induced heart disease.  The defendants argued that the claimant’s condition did not qualify as an occupational disease

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