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Yes, you can change your workers’ compensation doctor

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Following a work injury, your priority should be getting the appropriate medical attention that you need to recover. In Iowa, an employer is legally obligated to provide injured workers with the necessary medical care to treat injuries sustained in the line of duty. It means that your employer and the insurance provider will choose your doctor. 

However, for several reasons, you may want to change your treating physician. It is possible, under certain circumstances. Read on to find out more.

Possible reasons for changing your physician

While your employer has the right to choose the healthcare provider, there are situations where you might need a change of physician. They may include:

  • Inappropriate or insufficient care. If you feel your care is lacking or inadequate, you may need to change your doctor. This may be the case if you think that your situation is not improving despite your treatment.
  • The doctor is not suitable to provide the treatment you need. In some instances, you may need a specialist to attend to your injuries. When the chosen physician does not possess the necessary skill or knowledge, you might want to see a more qualified doctor.
  • You may also feel that the doctor is not acting in your best interests. Some physicians may focus on the company’s interests more than your welfare.
  • The doctor is too far away. If the employer-approved physician is far from your home, which inconveniences you when getting treatment, it can be a valid reason to change them.

How to go about it

Suppose you and your employer cannot agree on a change of doctor. In that case, you can seek alternate medical care by petitioning the workers’ compensation commission to decide on the matter. A hearing will be scheduled, and you may be given the go-ahead if your reasons are deemed valid.

It is essential to be aware of and follow the proper procedures when changing your workers’ compensation doctor. Otherwise, you may bear the financial cost of the alternate doctor alone if your employer or their insurance chooses not to cover the costs of the alternate physician.