In the state of Tennessee, the form that employers have to fill out to report injuries is the C-20 form, which—go figure!—is also called the First Report of Work Injury form. The First Report of Work Injury form in the state of Tennessee must be filed by the employer and sent in to the insurance carrier after each and every work accident or injury occurs.
Part of this whole injury reporting process is what doctors your employees can go to in Tennessee for their workers’ comp related medical care. These medical providers most often than not are different than the physicians that your employees go to for their regular medical care. In fact, in Tennessee, employers must only designate an injured employee “panel” of three doctors that the employees can pick from.
Any employer that doesn’t already have this workers’ comp medical care panel should get to setting one up for their employees. Your insurance carrier can help you decide which doctors to put on your medical care panel, and they can give you helpful tips on how to keep your employees informed about exactly who is on this panel. One of the best ways to do this would be to post the names on your panel in the employee break room, on a workers’ comp poster, so that your employees can read them whenever they’re in there for lunch or getting coffee.
This comes into play whenever an employee is hurt, because they must sign an Agreement Between the Employer / Employee Choice that says that you the employer allowed them to make a choice among the doctors on the panel. You hold on to a copy of the Agreement Between the Employer / Employee Choice form, and you must give a copy of the Agreement Between the Employer / Employee Choice to your employee as well. You must also have a copy handy in case the Tennessee Division of Workers’ Comp wants to see proof that you gave your employees that choice.
In Tennessee, the injured worker can expect to get the medical care they need to recover from their work related injuries, or in the least, help to manage those injuries. They can also expect from you, the employer, to get compensation for lost wages from time off from work due to injury and illness related to their work.
But as with other states, the details of these benefits are unique to Tennessee. For instance, in the state of Tennessee, employees are given up to three doctors to pick from to get their medical care from. The three doctors are from the employer and your workers’ comp insurance company. The three doctors of course have to be relatively close to the injured worker’s neighborhood. And that gives the employee three doctors to choose from. Once they pick one of those three, they cannot see another physician for workers’ comp related stuff in Tennessee unless they get a referral from their one doctor.
You should have a poster to explain all of this to your employees up in each of your work sites. I know we’ve covered the subject of posters a lot in the past, but this is a reminder. Some states require that one of these posters be a workers’ comp poster to tell your employees who your workers’ comp insurance company is, and how they can be reached if the employees get hurt during the course of the workday. Tennessee is one of these states.
Let’s say that does happen, by the way, and one of your employees gets hurt and contacts your workers’ comp insurance company to make a claim. The insurance company is then responsible for paying out that claim, first for medical care, to the worker. They must get that first payment out to the employee within 15 days, then after that, the workers’ comp insurance company must make payments at least twice a month.