Often, employees who have been injured at work and call our office want
to know why they can’t receive treatment from their primary care
doctor or a specialist recommended by their primary care doctor. The best
analogy we can come up with is the difference between seeing a doctor
out of network versus in-network under your health insurance coverage.
Can you do it? Yes. Will it be paid for? No.
Similarly, you can see your primary care doctor for your work injury as
long as you understand that your employer’s workers' comp insurance
company will not pay the bill, and more importantly, will not recognize
your doctor’s diagnosis/treatment plan. It is only after your treatment
ends with the work comp doctor that you have the option of seeing another
doctor for your independent medical exam (IME).
Can I switch my workers' comp doctor?
Unfortunately, there are very few situations in which you can receive medical
care from another doctor and still retain your workers' comp benefits.
In all these cases, the alternate doctor usually must also be a doctor
who is approved by your workers' comp carrier or the care needed is
urgent in nature.
Care from another doctor can occur when:
There is an emergency: if you suddenly need or surgery or treatment for complications related
to your work injury, and your assigned physician is somehow unavailable,
you may receive treatment from another doctor.
Care is not provided by the employer or the carrier: if doctors that the carrier has provided have agreed that you need urgent
treatment that employer or carrier will not authorize, then you may receive
that treatment from another doctor.
There is any other good reason: this is clearly vague and must be approved by the workers' comp board.
Speak with an
Indiana workers' compensation lawyer to review your case and assess if your circumstances constitute a compelling reason.
As you can see, not liking a particular physician is not enough reason
to request a change in doctor under your workers' comp claim. For
more reliable answers on your rights and options as an injured worker,
contact us a
Crossen Kooi today. Our experienced and compassionate professionals pride themselves on ensuring
that our injured clients have the support and resources they need to put
their injury behind them as soon as possible.
Get a dedicated advocate on your side. Call us at