If you are a doctor who wants to increase your number of Work Comp referrals, then you need to know about Work Comp Networks and Panels.  Nowadays, most states have Workers’ Compensation Networks and/or Panels, but why? What is a Workers’ Compensation Network / Panel and what are they for? As a doctor, should you contract with them? If so, with which Networks should you contract? Plus, how can a doctor tell if he/she is listed correctly?

This article aims to answer all of the above questions.

What is a Workers’ Compensation Network or Panel?

In short, Work Comp Networks and Panels are lists of doctors who accept work comp cases. Depending on your state, you will have Work Comp Networks or Panels (or both). Panel states (such as Georgia), require employers to provide employees with a list of at least 6 doctors whom the employee can see following a work-related injury. In managed care states, such as Florida and North Carolina, employers have even more control over the direction of care and can ask the employee to see a specific doctor.

Most managed care states make use of Work Comp Networks. These are third party companies which have assembled a list of doctors who accept Work Comp cases. Their business model is (usually) to collect a percentage of the reimbursement paid for medical treatment accessed through their network.

Work Comp Contracting – Why should doctors list themselves with Work Comp Networks / Panels?

Many employers insist that they will only use doctors on certain networks or panels. Therefore, if the doctor wants to receive workers’ compensation referrals from that particular employer, then he/she needs to be listed on that network or panel. Depending on the doctor’s specialty, area, and the network, they may be asked to accept a lower than normal rate to join the network.

Tip for Doctors: The first rate the network offers is usually not the maximum they are willing to pay. Depending on how rare your specialty and area is, the network (and their clients) may be willing to pay higher rates. In other words: Be sure to negotiate a fair rate for your specialty and area.

On which Work Comp Networks should I list my practice?

There are many different work comp networks, but they are not all equal. Some of them may service clients directly and, therefore, directly lead to more referrals for your practice. However, some of them simply ‘re-sell’ their list of doctors to other networks (often on which you are already contracted). This can mean lower reimbursement for you. For example, let’s say you are contracted with Network X for 100{7701725506dd45d1fedb2632f1fd6c9e791a18ae1a79de3fe3bb2adba018f7b4} of the state fee schedule. Then you contract with Network Y for 90{7701725506dd45d1fedb2632f1fd6c9e791a18ae1a79de3fe3bb2adba018f7b4} of the fee schedule. Network Y then ‘re-sells’ its provider list to Network X, meaning that Network X can now also access you at your lower rate of 90{7701725506dd45d1fedb2632f1fd6c9e791a18ae1a79de3fe3bb2adba018f7b4}.

In other words, when signing up to different WC networks, it’s important to first check their client list and to make sure they are employers and not other networks. A more simple solution is to always contract at the same rates – this way it does not matter which networks you contract with.

Depending on your state, you will want to contract with the major Work Comp Networks for that state.

This is a sample list of Work Comp Networks for Texas:

List taken from The Texas Department of Insurance.

I’m already contracted with the Networks – everything is good, right? Not necessarily!

We often hear doctors say this: “I’m already contracted with all the Work Comp Networks”. However, when we check the doctor’s listings with the networks we usually find a number of the following mistakes:

  • An incorrect address (usually an old address) is listed
  • An incorrect phone number
  • An inaccurate list of services
  • The incorrect specialty

So it is worth double checking, as incorrect listing information means lost referrals!

Work Comp Contracting

Are you listed under all relevant categories?

Many of the Work Comp Networks work in a similar way to Google. Essentially, they are a search tool for Adjusters, Nurse Case Managers, and Employers (and anyone else who uses them). The search tool is only as good as the information entered into it.

For example, did you know that the Heritage Summit (a subsidiary of Summit Consulting LLC – Summit is the managing general agent for 5 Workers’ Compensation carriers which together form one of the leading Workers’ Compensation providers of the South East of the USA) has 21 different orthopedic categories?

What does that mean for you, as a doctor? It means that there are multiple ways to list yourself. Perhaps you are only listed under “orthopedics”, but in reality you could also be listed under “orthopedic surgeon”, “orthopedic – Hip”, and “Orthopedic – Knee”.

For each of the networks, you should make sure you are listed under all relevant categories, so that you are found as often as possible by the Work Comp Adjusters, Nurse Case Managers, and Employers using your the network.

Work Comp Contracting – I’m not sure how I am listed…Who can help me?

Workers-Compensation-Doctors.com specializes in Workers Compensation Contracting and Workers Compensation Marketing for Doctors. As part of our Premium Package for Doctors, we handle all necessary Work Comp Contracting, including obtaining new contracts and making sure the doctor is listed correctly on all work comp networks / plans.

Interested in more Work Comp Referrals? List for Free in our Workers-Compensation-Doctors.com Directory Now

Our directory is a National Work Comp Doctor List and is the only directory devoted to Work Comp Doctors. It is used by Work Comp Adjusters, Nurse Case Managers, Employers and Attorneys across the USA, as it makes it easy for them to find a doctor in a certain area who accepts work comp patients.

Are you listed in the directory? If not, List yourself in the Work Comp Doctor Directory Now for Free.

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