Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Work Injuries and Changing Doctors

If you are hurt at work, the employer may send you to “their” doctor. Frequently, this is a medical provider that specializes in occupational injuries. In our experience, these medical providers tend to be extremely conservative in issuing restrictions for an injured employee and their recommendations for additional medical care. You do have the right, within the first 60 days of medical treatment, to change doctors.

After the first 60 days, the process of changing doctors gets more complicated. Typically, the change in doctors must be approved by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry if the workers’ compensation insurer won’t approve the change.

Generally, you have great latitude in changing doctors. Some of the acceptable reasons to change treating physicians include (1) a loss of confidence in a doctor’s ability to effectively treat the injured worker, (2) lack of improvement in the employee’s condition, or (3) a breakdown in communication with the physician.

In addition to changing primary doctors, you may wish to consult with a specialist, such as a neurologist, an orthopedic specialist, or a surgeon. Generally, you are permitted to see such a specialist so long as you have a referral, and the consultation is deemed to be reasonable and necessary.

If you need assistance in changing treating physicians, or the insurance company has denied your consultation with a specialist, call Meuser & Associates at 877-746-5680 or click here to send us an e-mail to schedule a free consultation.

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