Who is Your Treating Doctor in a California Workers Compensation Case?

Who is Your Treating Doctor in a California Workers Compensation Case?

If you were injured at work, you always need to seek medical attention. Visiting a doctor could mean a rush to the emergency room, or it could mean seeing a doctor a few hours or days after your injury. Generally, the sooner you can get in to see a doctor after a work injury, the better.

When you suffer a work injury, your employer or their insurance company is usually required to provide you with medical care. However, you must follow very specific rules and regulations to get this care. Your treating doctor in your Los Angeles workers compensation case is going to be very important. The workers comp lawyers at The Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach can explain just how important—but this post will give you an idea of how your treating doctor is determined in a workers comp case.

Choosing a Treating Doctor in California

You can use your primary treating doctor as your workers comp doctor in your after a work injury. However, you must take a few steps first to ensure that you can use your own physician first.

  1. You must already have healthcare insurance coverage other than workers compensation coverage;
  2. You gave your employer written notice of your desired doctor before the work injury occurred; and
  3. You talked to your doctor, and he or she has agreed to treat you if a work injury occurs.

What Happens If You Haven’t Selected a Treating Doctor?

If you haven’t predesignated a doctor, your employer will provide you care in one of three ways, depending on what type of plan your employer uses.

    1. Managed Provider Network (MPN). If your employer uses an MPN, you will use one of the doctors listed in the network.
    2. Health Care Organization (HCO). An HCO provides managed medical care to workers who are injured. Your employer should give you a Form 1194 each year that allows you to either enroll in the HCO or opt out by predesignating a doctor. If you are enrolled, then you must start your care after a work injury with an HCO doctor.
    3. Employer’s Choice. If your employer has neither an MPN or HCO, and you have not predesignated a doctor, then your employer or its insurance company can choose who you should see for your initial treatment after a work injury.

If you don’t go through these channels to get treatment, your employer may be able to avoid having to pay for your medical care. As a result, it is essential that you know and follow the rules set out to get treatment.

If your employer has not given you any information regarding how to get treatment or thinks your injury is not work-related, you need to talk to an Los Angeles workers compensation attorney. We can help you assert your rights and get the medical care you deserve. Learn more by calling our team today.