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Addressing concerns about doctor selection under workers’ comp

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

Wisconsin workers who are injured on the job will take comfort in knowing that they can receive workers’ compensation benefits. Wages, medical expenses and more can be provided once the claim is approved. However, not every claim is clear-cut and disputes are common.

One of the most challenging areas of disagreement is choosing a doctor. Knowing how this is handled and what the employer and employee can do is key. Since these cases can be complicated, it is wise for employees to be protected with experienced and professional advice.

What are key points about doctor selection under workers’ comp?

After the injury, the worker can choose their doctor. In emergencies, the employer must do whatever is necessary to get the injured employee the appropriate treatment. After that, the employee can pick the medical professional they want.

For workers who are unhappy with their first choice, they can select one more doctor. The employer must be informed of this second option. When the first doctor issues a referral for specialized treatment, this still counts as a first doctor as does seeing several doctors within one professional practice.

Any subsequent changes after seeing a second doctor must be approved by the employer and insurer or done on referral from that second doctor so it still ras a second doctor. Workers must remember to notify the employer of a change or there could be a problem with getting the treatment paid for.

Certain treatments like massage and pain management are not allowed legally unless it is approved beforehand by the work comp insurance carrier or the approved first or second choice doctor refer the worker for such care and treatment. The employer can also ask the employee to submit to an examination by a doctor of their choice. The employee maintains certain rights such as having an observer present, their doctor present ,or there being a translator to overcome a language barrier. Employees cannot be covered if they refuse treatment unless it could endanger them.

Workers’ comp cases often require experienced and caring guidance

Working people who have been injured will think about making ends meet, getting care and returning to full health so they can get back on the job. Their fears can be amplified if they suddenly discover that their employer does not agree with their choice of doctor. This can cause financial, personal and emotional challenges that need to be sorted out.

The employer will have one perspective on the type of treatment provided while the injured employee and their family might have a different viewpoint. Knowing how the state handles disparities is vital in these and other aspects of a workers’ comp case.

It is also imperative that workers have assistance that will answer all questions, understand their plight and fight for them. Professionals can explain the law and formulate solutions to achieve a positive result.