Selecting your own doctor is harder than it sounds

Watch out for this insurance company tactic and how to ensure you get the best medical care possible.

6793819699_23933ea007_mI recently attended a meeting with several of my colleagues. The #1 problem our clients face when starting medical treatment under workers’ compensation is below average care.

It is common for employers to require treatment at work clinics during the first 28 days. Some of these medical facilities only care about saving money and provide less than optimal care. Doctors employed by these clinics even have trouble getting testing authorized.

We have seen many individuals have their symptoms brushed aside and told to get back to work prematurely. This delays healing and could make a problem much worse.

Michigan law allows you to select your own doctor after 28 days from the start of medical care. Do this by providing the insurance company with the name and address of your chosen doctor. All reasonable and necessary medical treatment should be paid.

Obstruction by the insurance company is very common and takes different forms. A nurse case manager might be hired to steer you to a specific doctor. You may receive a letter with a list of preferred providers and think your options are limited. Some adjusters simply refuse to authorize treatment unless it is with their chosen doctor.

Insurance companies want to choose your doctor because it allows greater opportunity to reduce medical costs and manipulate work restrictions. Some of these doctors are notorious for testifying against injured workers. Would you trust your medical care to someone who makes greater than $500,000 per year performing “independent” exams for insurance companies?

Access to medical care is perhaps the most important benefit under workers’ compensation. Michigan has a fee schedule and providers get paid the same amount regardless. Select the best doctor for your individual circumstances. If your claim is ever disputed, you will need someone on your side.

Talking with your family doctor is a great way to figure out who is good in a particular field. Ask for a referral to a specialist. Family members who had similar medical problems are another great resource. The Internet is a powerful tool that can be used to find reviews and locate the best medical provider for your needs.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

How insurance companies use IME doctors to abuse the workers comp system

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by 401(K) 2013.

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