Can I choose my physician under workers’ comp law?
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Can I choose my physician under workers’ comp law?

| May 8, 2020 | Firm News

In the event of a workplace injury, you may worry about the doctor who will treat you. People tend to have their own personal doctors and feel comfortable with them treating their condition than somebody they are not familiar with. If you want to receive workers’ compensation, you will have to use a doctor designated by your employer, but only at first.

The Workers’ Compensation Commission for the state of Connecticut explains how and when an injured worker may receive treatment from a preferred doctor. It is important to follow the guidelines set by the state, or you might waive your workers’ compensation rights.

Your initial visit

According to state law, following a workplace injury, you must visit the doctor designated by the medical care plan of your employer. Once you have received your initial treatment, you may then pick an attending physician. If you decide not to receive your initial treatment from an employer designated doctor, you may end up losing your workers’ comp rights, including your right to receive coverage of your medical bills by the state.

Non plan employers

In the event your employer is not a part of an approved medical care plan, the state allows you to select a medical professional licensed by the state of Connecticut. In addition to a doctor who specializes in medicine, you may pick someone versed in a medical field like podiatry, naturopathy, chiropractic treatment, and osteopathy, depending on the needs of your condition.

Changing a doctor

If you have a problem with your current doctor, perhaps because of the treatment the doctor is giving you, state law allows you to change your doctor. However, you must follow a three step process to complete the change. First, you must acquire a referral from your current attending doctor so that another doctor can treat you. Secondly, you must also obtain an approval from the workers’ comp insurance carrier that is a part of your case.

Finally, you will have to submit a request in writing to the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner for your jurisdiction. This request should indicate your desire to change your doctor, including the name, the address, and the medical specialty of the new doctor you wish to treat you. You must also describe your reasons for wanting the change. You may expect a response from the commissioner through the mail. If your employer has coverage under an approved plan, the new doctor must participate in the plan.