Pennsylvania presently has one of the highest workers’ compensation insurance rates for employers in the country. This fact raises the possibility that important resources will be allocated to pay for costs instead of increasing the availability of treatment and funds for those injured employees entitled to benefits. Fortunately, a new reform, signed into law by the Governor late last month, aims to mend what has been considered a “loophole” regarding prescription drugs and will also decrease narcotics dependency among prescription drug users.
The Law in Pennsylvania
As written, the law pertaining to prescription drugs in workers’ compensation matters permitted physicians to repackage prescription drugs and dispense them directly to injured workers. This practice increased the costs of medication for the injured, and subsequently, their employer’s insurance company (which is then deflected to the employers themselves). The law permitted physicians to sidestep the pharmacy and prescribe the medication directly, which was facilitated through the cooperation of drug repackaging companies. It is estimated that almost half of what workers’ compensation insurance companies pay in prescription costs goes directly back to the doctors who utilize these controversial practices.
What is now recognized as Act 184 is projected to reduce prescription costs for injured workers by up to 15 percent and reduce employer expenditures on workers’ compensation insurance by over $30 million. With extra savings for the employer, the quality of care and coverage extended to injured workers may improve with time, and costs will be lower for all beneficiaries.
In addition, the new law will also help rectify concerns about doctors over-prescribing certain medications, particularly those that may be addictive. Physicians will not be able to dispense certain drugs in more than thirty-day increments, though exceptions are carved out for patients undergoing surgical operations. This newly-enacted law is one of the many pending prescription-drug related reforms being introduced to the Pennsylvania legislature this year.
Jenkintown, Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you or anyone you know has been injured or involved in an accident at work, you may be entitled to receive a portion of your wages while you recover. Under Pennsylvania law, you may be able to recover up to two-thirds of your wages. Most employers, by law, are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their workers in the event of an on-site accident or injury. This is true for most places, even if your work does not typically involve heavy labor or construction (though these are the areas of employment where workers’ compensation claims are most common).
Though you must notify your employer in a timely manner and visit one of their approved physicians in most cases, you have a substantial amount of rights when you are injured on the job. An application for workers’ compensation benefits can be filled out by anyone. However, retaining experienced attorneys that know how to apply for workers’ compensation benefits, how to appeal if you application is initially declined, and how to actually receive the benefits once your application is approved can greatly improve your chances at successful and quick recovery of compensation. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Solnick & Associates LLC will ensure your application is right the first time, so you do not need to be without financial resources as you wait for an appeal. If you have already filed an application and it was denied, do not worry; we may be able to help you with the appeals process. All of the aspects of workers’ compensation matters are extremely time sensitive; be sure to contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible so you can obtain the benefits you are entitled to by law.