Your First Doctors Visit
Seeing any doctor for your first visit is usually permitted in most states. If your injury is life threatening, going to the ER will be covered as well. It is important for the injured worker to let whoever is treating him or her that the injury is work related. The Doctor or treating physicians need to be made aware if it is a work related injury. Make sure if you have ongoing treatment from a medical provider that they are authorized to treat you for your work related injury. If they are not authorized to treat you from the state or the workers compensation insurance company, the bills may not be paid. The medical evidence may also be denied in any court proceedings if the Doctor you are treating with is not authorized to do so.
The ability to choose your own doctor in a work related injury depends heavily on what state you live in. Some states require you to see a worker’s comp doctor from a panel. Other states allow injured workers to choose doctors in a network. Doctors who are in this network are determined by the state or by the workers compensation insurance company.
Can I change Doctors? I’m not happy with the “Company doctor”
If you are not satisfied with the medical care you are receiving it may be possible to change doctors. In some states you can only change once, in others it may be more. You usually have to acquire permission from your employer or the workman’s compensation insurance company.
Can I see my Primary care doctor?
Your Pc may or may not treat injured workers when the injured worker has filed a claim with insurance company. The workers compensation insurance company has rules for treating injured workers and for the doctor to receive payment. You may consider speaking with your PC Doctor to see if they can treat you for a work related injury.
Continuous medical care or rehabilitation
Most states have rules in place regarding ongoing medical treatment and who can provide such treatment. You may be allowed to seek treatment from other types of Doctors such as Chiropractors, naturopaths, Massage Therapy. It is possible the workers compensation insurance company will limit the number of visits.
Specialist is usually handled by the attending physician. The attending doctor will refer you out. In some states the workers compensation insurance company may have a list of specialist that you can treat with, the referral for such treatment more than likely will still come from the Primary workers comp doctor.
Some specialist may be:
What is the role of your workers comp Doctor?
Your treating doctor’s role should be getting you back to work, pain free. Of course this depends on the work-related injury. Your treating doctor will also be the one who authorizes time off from work and puts in place work restrictions.
Medical Bills and getting the Doctors paid
In most cases’ you never see a doctor bill in a work related injury. The doctor’s office generally bills the insurer or workman’s comp insurance company.
Will I loose my job if I file a worker’s comp claim?
This is a major concern for most people. A good job is hard to find and when you have one, you don’t want to do anything to lose it. The truth is in some states you will lose your job. Most workers comp attorneys will tip toe around this question. They don’t want to lose your case by telling you the truth, if you hire them and they file suit, in some states, you will lose your job. It is a requirement in the settlement process with the insurance company that you resign. Notice I said in some states, not all states do this.
Make sure with any work related injury that you tell your employer immediately. Delaying or waiting to do so could be detrimental to your workers comp claim. Your employer has to fill out the necessary paperwork to file a claim with the workers compensation insurance company. As with any accident injury, the longer you wait to see a doctor or report the work-related injury, the harder it might be to prove that your injury came from the job.