If you’ve had a work related injury, you are likely receiving your medical care through your employer’s workman’s compensation policy. While the policy covers your medical care, it often dictates a specific doctor that you can see or it will provide you with a list of possible providers. Unfortunately, if you aren’t satisfied with the medical coverage you are receiving through workman’s compensation, it isn’t always as easy to switch doctors as it is when dealing with a personal insurance company.
The good news, though, is that it is possible for you to change doctors. The first step in knowing how to change doctors is identifying why you want to change doctors. There are usually two main reasons why a workman’s comp patient wants to change doctors: they don’t like the doctor they are seeing, or they don’t agree with the doctor’s diagnosis of their disability.
I Don’t Like My Doctor or I’m Not Satisfied with My Medical Care
If you feel that the care you are receiving from your doctor is subpar and that the doctor is truly not competent as a physician, you should contact an attorney to help you deal with filing complaints with your insurer and your state’s medical review board.
If you just don’t like your doctor, it is possible to switch. The procedure for changing medical providers varies from state to state. In some states, you are able to change providers as many times as you would like. In other states, you only have certain windows of time that you are allowed to change providers. In other states, you must send a request to your insurance provider in order to change your doctor.
You should contact your workman’s comp insurance company to understand what their policy is for changing doctors. If they tell you switching is not possible, you should contact an attorney with workman’s comp experience. An attorney can help review the true policies of the company and can advocate for you with the company’s administration.
I Don’t Agree with my Disability Rating
Disagreeing with the diagnosis of the physician is another reason why you may want to change medical providers. Under workman’s compensation policies, a workman’s comp doctor sees you until they think that you have reached your maximum recovery, called maximum medical improvement (MMI). The doctor then assigns you a disability rating. Your rating determines the amount of disability compensation that you will receive. If you disagree with your physician and feel that your disability impairs you more that your rating reflect, you have the right to request a second opinion.
Your request may be granted or denied through the state office that oversees workman’s comp insurance issues. If you have a legitimate complaint with your disability rating or with a recommended course of medical action (such as surgeries) you should file a request. An attorney who specializes in workman’s comp cases can help you with this process and can help improve the odds of your request being granted.
Long-term disabilities are hard enough to deal with on their own, without the added stress of doctors you don’t work well with or an insurance company that is reluctant to let you search out better medical care. Often times a workman’s comp attorney can relieve you of stressful negotiations and formalities so you can spend your time recovering.
Denver workers’ compensation attorney R. Mack Babcock and associates at the Babcock Law Firm work tirelessly to represent the interests of injured workers from across Colorado. Combining unique experience with steadfast dedication helps ensure clients receive the medical treatment for workplace injuries and compensation for lost wages they need.