Currently, federal employees who are injured on the job are severely limited in choosing a physician assistant or nurse practitioner as their primary care providers. The current Federal Employees Compensation Act places exclusions on certain physician assistants and creates barriers that make it difficult for those seeking treatment to obtain care from medical professionals outside the network. Now, the House has passed an act that seeks to remove these barriers and allow injured federal employees throughout North Carolina and all across the country to get the treatment they need from a source they know and trust.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bipartisan act, HR6087, that would expand the current program and allow federal employees who are receiving workers’ compensation benefits to choose their own nurse practitioner or physician assistant. Within the scope of the act, PAs and NPs would be able to engage in any of the following:
- Provide treatment recommendations for injured federal workers
- Certify the extent and nature of the injury or resulting disability
- Prescribe medication and provide prescribed treatments
- Work closely with a licensed physician in mandatory examinations required by workers’ compensation
In all, 325 members of the House voted for the act. Federal employees are allowed to choose their own nurse practitioners as part of their employee health program; but the act allows them to make those determination and use the same medical professionals for treatment of work-related injuries. Reports state that more than two million federal employees will benefit from the new legislation.
Although it sounds like a step in the right direction, the act still has to pass the Senate. Until that time, injured workers will have to contend with the current process. Whether a federal employee or not, those injured on the job have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits, and those in North Carolina can increase their chances of success by working directly with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.