Medical panels provide an impartial, independent process to resolve differences of medical opinion on a Workers’ Compensation claim.
A Medical Panel is convened when all other attempts to resolve the medical dispute have been exhausted. The panel process is initiated by a request from one of the following:
- Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB)
- Appeals Commission
- A worker through the Appeals Commission
The Medical Panels Commissioner (MPC) selects the Panel Members and the Panel Chair. The Panel consists of three medical practitioners that have been chosen based on their expertise in dealing with the issues under review.
Assembling the Panel
Once the MPC receives a request for a Medical Panel, a list of eligible physicians is created based on their:
- Expertise with the claim’s medical concerns.
- Confirmed registration with the Alberta College of Physician and Surgeons, or its equivalent.
- Willingness to participate.
The Panel reviews the medical information in the claimant’s file and:
- Interviews and medically examines the claimant.
- Receives input from the treating physician.
- Requests additional investigation or consultation as needed.
Once the review is complete, a written report outlining the panel’s decision is prepared and sent to the MPC for the final decision. The MPC’s decision is binding for all of the parties involved in the claim.
The Medical Panels Regulation outlines requirements for this process in Sections 2 through 6.