FAQs

Can I seek medical treatment with a doctor of my own choosing?

Most state Workers’ Compensation Acts provide an answer to this question. There is not a “one size fits all” answer. In some states your employer has a right to choose the doctor who treats you. There are exceptions but they are very limited. Some states give the employer the right to choose the doctor for a certain period of time, for example, the first ten days of active medical treatment. Finally, some allow an injured worker to pick and choose a treatment provider from the beginning. There is a variation of this question that is important, and it is: Can I change doctors if I am unhappy or dissatisfied with the doctor who is treating me? If it is a state where the employer has the right to choose, a change can only be made with their approval or with the agency’s approval. If you become dissatisfied with a doctor you personally selected, many states allow you to change once without agency approval. Changing doctors more than once is seen as “doctor shopping,” a disfavored practice. Changing more than once could result in you having to pay the health care provider personally. It is always wise to ask about payment for medical treatment before incurring bills.

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