In the past few weeks, I have received a number of questions about the new Board Rules and the changes to the physician Panel. As of 7/1/15, the new Board Rules went into effect. These now state that there are no more “conformed panels.” Instead, if you are not using a MCO network, all posted panels of physicians must have at least six physicians, one of whom is required to practice orthopedic surgery. A panel can have no more than two industrial clinics listed as physicians.
The most beneficial portion of the changes to the Panel deals with Rule 201(a)(1), which was amended to remove the requirement that panels of physician consist of only non-associated physicians (Great news for us!).
This means that the Employer/Insurer may now utilize 6 physicians (or more) within the same medical practice. This will make it far easier to create a good Panel and will take away many of the challenges from claimants as to the validity of the Panel.
It is crucial that you start speaking with your respective Employers and Insurers about these changes, and making the appropriate changes to your Panels. If you need any assistance in updating or creating new Panels, I am more than happy to help.