Worker’s Compensation Insurance: Can I Choose my Own Doctor?
Q: I was hurt on the job recently and my employer directed me to go to an occupational health clinic and treat with the doctors there. Can they make me treat with these doctors?
A: No. An injured worker is entitled to choose his or her own attending physician. Prior to claim acceptance, you can choose any licensed physician, chiropractor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant to provide medical services. Certain workers’ compensation insurers have contracted with managed care organizations (MCOs). If so, you will be required to treat with a medical provider within the MCO after your claim is accepted. However, the choice of physician is up to you. You can choose an attending physician who refers you to specialists for additional tests or procedures, such as surgery, while still maintaining attending physician status. An injured worker is also entitled to change attending physicians up to three times. If you have questions or need help, you can contact the Workers’ Compensation Division Ombudsman’s office at 1-800-452-0288. You can also speak with an attorney experienced in representing injured workers.