Can I Change Doctors If I Suffer from a Workplace Injury in Burbank?
You must be treated by the right doctor if hurt on the job in California. They have a vital role in both your recovery and in the workers’ compensation benefits you receive.
With the wrong doctor, you end up:
- Getting treated wrongly
- Getting sent to work too soon
- Having downplayed injuries
- Receiving reduced benefits
Luckily workers injured in California can change doctors if unsatisfied with the medical treatment rendered. However, some rules follow to ensure your employer’s insurance company pays your medical bills.
The procedure for changing doctors depends on:
- How you choose the first treating doctor
- If the insurance company has a managed provider network(MPO) or health care organization(HCO) for treating workplace injuries
Tips for Choosing the Initial Doctor for Workers Compensation
You must select the right doctor for treating your workplace injury. They are responsible for so many things like:
- Diagnosing your medical condition and how it affects your job
- Recommending the proper treatment
- Referring you to specialists if required
- Advising your taking time off work
- Restricting your job duties while you recover
- Deciding if the work injury had lead to permanent disabilities
You can choose your physician or qualified medical group as your treating doctor for workers compensation if:
- Employer provides you with health care coverage
- Provided your employer with a designation letter. It is a written notice stating you want your physician to treat you if you suffer from work injuries.
- You must predesignate your doctor. The risk of getting treated by a doctor the insurance company chooses or someone in their doctor network without it.
How to Change Your Treating Doctor in Burbank
Suppose you aren’t happy with your doctor’s opinion or feel that you aren’t receiving proper medical care. In that case, you can switch to another physician based on the procedures and timing applied to your situation.
1. If There’s a Managed Provider Network (MPN)
You can change doctors anytime after the first examination if the insurance company has an MPN. But you will have to get treated by a network physician or provider through your worker’s compensation claim.
2. If There’s a Health Care Organization (HCO)
Request to change to another in-network doctor if the insurance company has an HCO. However, it’s the HCO who assigns the new provider to you.
You may opt for a doctor outside the HCO, but it’s only after a waiting period. The waiting period depends on when you reported your injury. It’s 90 days if you don’t have regular work health insurance or 180 days if you have employer-provided coverage.
3. If You Have a Predesignated Personal Physician
You can change from your predesignated doctor to the insurance company’s MPN or HCO network physician at any time. However, if they don’t have MPN or HCO, it depends on when you decide to make the change.
Change doctors once within the first 30 days of reporting the injury. The insurance company usually selects your new doctor.
However, you can also change to your preferred doctor after 30 days. But you must inform the insurance company of the change, and give them your new doctor’s name and address.
4. If There’s No Predesignated Doctor, MPN or HCO
In this case, the rules for changing doctors are similar to when treated with your predesignated doctor.
It means that the insurance company chooses a new physician within the first 30 days after reporting your injury. As long as you inform the insurer about the change, you can later switch to your desired medical provider.
Your Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Burbank Can Give More Advice
There’s lots of information about changing doctors after a workplace injury online. However, it can get confusing, so it is usually better to contact a workers’ comp lawyer in Burbank.
They have the relevant knowledge and experience handling workers’ compensation cases. They can help you change doctors to a doctor who can deal with the workers’ compensation system. And can also help you get approved for treatment if the insurance company resists.