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Psychiatrists Sought for Workers’ Compensation Participation

April 22, 2022

Nashville, TN — During a recent Workers’ Compensation Medical Advisory Committee meeting, a discussion took place regarding other states' use of mid-level practitioners such as nurse practitioners or physician assistants to treat injured workers. The reason for the discussion was concern expressed by the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation about the “paucity” of psychiatrists' participation in the program. It is believed that only a handful of psychiatrists currently participate in the program. The Bureau reached out to TMA for assistance to help address the concern. While the Bureau is not considering the solution for Tennessee, the Bureau reiterated its concerns about the psychiatrist participation level.

TMA would prefer not to see legislation once again brought by mid-level organizations or rule proposals from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to unsafely broaden the scope of practice of mid-level providers. The best solution is for psychiatrists to participate and treat injured workers.

Referrals are made by other physicians (occupational medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation) for certain mental health treatments to psychologists, but the expertise of the psychiatrists is essential in many cases. To participate or for more information, please contact the Bureau’s medical director, Robert Snyder, MD, at