Can You See Your Doctor for Workers Comp Treatment?

Experience an injury or accident at work, and you'll file a workers compensation claim and receive medical treatment at no cost to you. In these cases, you may prefer to see your own doctor who knows you and your medical history. Is that possible? 

What Happens During Your First Workers Comp Doctor Visit?

During the initial doctor's visit for your workers comp claim, the doctor will examine you and recommend treatment. He or she will begin the necessary claim paperwork and can also authorize any required time off work or restrictions in the duties you can perform. 

Which Doctor Can you See?

The rules about doctor selection in workers comp cases vary by state. In most workers comp cases, you'll be assigned a doctor that's chosen by your employer's workers comp insurance carrier. You might, however, live in a state that allows you to choose any doctor in a certain network that's determined by your state, your employer or your employer's insurance company. In this case, you still have some flexibility and say in who you see. 

Can You Switch Doctors?

Despite strict workers comp rules, you do have the freedom to switch doctors after the initial visit and any time during ongoing treatment. Check with your HR department for information on if or how often you can switch. Then be sure the new treating physician completes the correct documentation that ensures your treatment continues to be covered by workers comp.

Can You Choose Your Preferred Doctor?

If you don't like your options and insist on seeing your primary care physician, make sure he or she takes workers comp claims. The process is complicated, and your doctor may choose not to participate. 

Perhaps your doctor does handle workers comp claims but is not in your company's network. Submit a document in writing to your HR department before you're injured and express that you wish to see only your chosen doctor. 

In certain cases, you may insist on seeing your regular physician no matter what doctors are covered by your workers comp. Understand that you will pay for the treatment. None of the doctor visits, medication or ongoing treatment will be covered by your employer. However, you can continue to see your physician for other conditions that are covered by your regular health insurance.

Getting treated for an injury at work requires you to file a workers comp claim. Understand how the process works and which doctors you can see as you receive the medical treatment you need. 

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