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Can you change your doctor for a workers’ compensation claim?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that pays for any hospital, therapy or prescription expenses you might incur from a work-related injury or illness. However, there’s a limitation to this coverage in that you can only receive care from an approved medical care provider.

You might think you can’t change which medical professional attends to your treatment because you’re limited to only approved doctors. However, Georgia has provisions that allow you to pick another doctor if you so choose.

Picking an alternative doctor

Per state workers’ compensation rules, you can change your doctor to another without your employer’s permission. However, the alternative doctor must also be on your employer’s list of approved medical professionals.

Your employer must also disclose which medical care providers it has approved for you to choose from. It must either post a panel of at least six approved doctors or the name of a workers’ compensation managed care organization (WC/MCO) certified by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.

Employee responsibilities still apply

You must pick from the list of doctors provided by your employer. If you refuse any of the doctors, the Board may have to step in and request that you accept treatment from an approved doctor. And if you continue to decline, the Board may suspend your other nonmedical benefits.

Workers’ compensation may work similarly to property insurance. But unlike property insurance, where you can pick any contractor to repair your home, you can only choose from a list of doctors your employer has approved for workers’ compensation. Feel free to pick another approved doctor on the list if you think your medical needs are better served by a professional of your choice. But be mindful of the potential penalties you face for refusing treatment.