House Bill 18 Threatens the Rights of Injured Workers

This past February, Representative Ryan Mackenzie introduced House Bill 18 which he claims is designed to address opioid abuse and addiction among injured workers in Pennsylvania.

The proposed bill would require comprehensive evidence-based treatment guidelines, including a drug “formulary,” or a pre-approved list of drugs prescribed to injured workers receiving medical treatment under the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act. Any drugs prescribed outside the approved list would require a doctor's written authorization that it is medically necessary, and even then insurance companies could still challenge the prescription. The bill also proposes to implement a set duration of treatment and establish dosage amounts for those hurt on the job.

Supporters say the bill is needed to curb the overuse of opioids among injured workers. According to the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute, Pennsylvania ranked third in a recent 25-state study of the amount of opioids prescribed to injured workers.

However, opponents say the bill caters to the insurance industry and leaves injured workers without proper medical treatment by hindering the doctor-patient relationship. The implementation of a drug formulary for work place injuries would undermine doctors’ professional expertise in treating patients and decrease the treatment options available for employees injured on the job. Every patient should have the right to a customized treatment plan from a physician whose chief concern is the patient’s recovery.

Gregg Potter, president of the Lehigh Valley Labor Council, believes that opioid abuse among injured workers need to be curtailed but thinks the bill interferes with the doctor-patient relationship. “There are good doctors and bad doctors, so how do we know the doctors creating the formulary are good for patients?” Many believe that HB 18 strongly promotes the interests of insurance companies and would majorly limit doctors' treatment options when it comes to achieving the best possible outcome for their patients.

UPDATE (June 21, 2017): The state House has postponed a vote on the bill.

Source: The Morning Call

    Had a great experience with these awesome people

    “Had a great experience with these awesome people. Their job was done promoting well and they got me way more than I could have imagined. I would Highly recommend.”

    - Michael C.
    Great Attorneys!

    “Great Attorneys”

    - David Stephens
    Always courteous and kept me informed and up to date on the whole process

    “My experience with M&W was made very painless by [Attorney] Lori & [Paralegal] Judy from the Hbg office!”

    - Kenneth Williams
    I would recommend these people to anyone.

    “The lawyers at this office and their staff, Mr. [Attorney] DeVere and [Paralegal] Stephanie, his assistant, became the voice I didn’t have after the accident. They were my points of light.”

    - Ms. D. Lopez
    I would recommend Metzger Wickersham to everyone.

    “You guys were so easy to work with. There was no stress and the whole process was done in a timely manner. I would recommend Metzger Wickersham to everyone. Such a pleasure.”

    - Sharon Balent
    You guys are absolutely amazing and that’s an understatement.

    “Attorney Painter was simply amazing...My wife had been fighting SSI for over three years. Since working with Metzger Wickersham her stress and anxiety levels were 100% gone.”

    - Carlos Bonilla
    Outstanding in every way

    “Outstanding in every way no one has ever helped me more in my entire life like this firm. I highly recommend. Thank you very much.”

    - Gary Klinger
    Absolutely wonderful!

    “They helped me with my case on a motor vehicle accident. They were kind, understanding, professional, and got the job done. They explained things, talked me through stuff, and answered any questions I had!”

    - Ms. Brianna Marquis
    Thank you for going that extra mile.

    “I wanted to thank Valerie for all her hard work and going that extra mile for me! I was denied twice, Valerie appealed my case to the Appeals court. Thanks to Valerie, my case was finally won after ...”

    - Joanne Brenizer
    They made everything stress free.

    “They handle everything from the day you call, strongly recommend this office in particular. They made everything stress free and worked hard to get me what I deserved.”

    - Alexia Brodbeck

Let Us Fight For You

Request a Free Consultation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.