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Choosing a Doctor to Treat Your Workplace Injury
If your injury is work-related, the law may give your employer some control over your medical treatment. If the employer posts a list with at least six health care providers, you must treat with one of those health care providers for 90 days. If there is no posted list, you can go to any doctor or health care provider you choose. The employer’s posted list must include at least three doctors and no more than four Coordinated Care Organizations
. If your employer or its insurer has an ownership interest in the Coordinated Care Organization, the ownership interest must be disclosed. Your employer cannot force you to go to a particular doctor or health care provider on the list. The choice is yours and yours alone. If you are not satisfied with that doctor, you can choose another from the list within the 90- day period. If none of the health care providers on the list are available, you can go to a doctor of your own choice. In addition, in order for the employer to insist that you follow the posted list, the employer must give you a written document setting forth your rights and duties in choosing a doctor or a health care provider from the list. Please read this paper carefully before you sign it. If your employer does not give you a written paper to read and sign, you can go to any doctor or health care provider of your choice. If you are treated by a doctor or a health care provider of your own choosing, you must notify your employer of your selection and the name and address of the doctor or healthcare provider within five days of your first visit in order to have your bills paid. If you fail to notify your employer, your employer may not be liable for the payment of bills prior to actual receipt of notice. After receipt of notice, your employer will only be responsible for those charges that are reasonable and necessary.
If invasive surgery is recommended by the company doctor, you have the right to a second opinion from a doctor of your choice. If the second opinion recommends a different course of treatment, you have the right to choose the course of treatment you prefer. If you select the alternative treatment, that treatment is to be administered by a health care provider on your employer’s list. You are required to be treated by a health care provider on your employer’s list for a period of 90 days following the date of the visit to the doctor who recommended treatment. If your treatment extends beyond 90 days, you can then switch to a doctor of your choice. If you find yourself in this situation, it is wise to contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer to discuss the situation.
Choosing Your Own Doctor
When you choose your own doctor, he or she will control our treatment and advise you when you are able to return to wok. You do not have to accept treatment from any other doctor and you may refuse treatment from a doctor whom your employer wants you to see. In order for your doctor or health care provider to be paid for treatment, he or she must regularly file reports with your employer. The first report must be filed within 10 days of the beginning of treatment and each month after as long as treatment continues. Your employer or insurer is not responsible for payment until that report has been filed. Your employer or its insurer must pay or contest the doctor’s or health care provider’s bills within 30 days from the day they receive the bills and report.
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