After suffering an injury at work, medical costs may be one of your top concerns. These costs can be significant, especially if treatment drags on.
Workers’ compensation insurance exists to protect you and your employer and help relieve the burden of such expenses. However, even with the knowledge that benefits cover your medical bills, you may still harbor other reasonable concerns, including whether or not you can pick the health care provider you trust and are comfortable with.
Who chooses the doctor who performs the initial assessment?
Right after an injury, you need to receive an examination and treatment as soon as possible. To see your personal doctor for this, your boss must provide regular health insurance and your physician must be a predesignated provider. This means that at some point prior to the incident you told your employer in writing that you want this doctor to treat you for workplace injuries. If you do not meet these criteria, your care usually falls to the insurer’s doctor or health care network.
Can you change your doctor?
The insurance company may have a medical provider network (MPN) or a health care organization (HCO) through which it offers care. If it does, you may switch from your predesignated physician to the MPN or HCO. If you want to switch from your predesignated doctor, but there is no MPN or HCO, you can change to whoever you want after 30 days. Before 30 days, the insurance company may choose.
If you failed to predesignate a doctor and the insurer has an MPN or HCO, you can request a different physician. However, you may find yourself restricted to one from the MPN or HCO.
To ensure you receive quality care, it is important to see a physician you have confidence in after suffering a workplace injury.