After a work injury, you’ll want to be treated by a medical provider that you can trust. So how can you go about finding a good doctor, and what are your legal rights if you want to switch treating physicians after a Minnesota work injury? We take a look at how you can get the medical treatment you deserve in today’s blog.
Picking Your Doctor
Under Minnesota law, injured workers have the right to select a treating healthcare provider of their choice. When you’re deciding who to choose as your treating physician, choose wisely, because although you can change doctors during treatment, it’s not always easy to do so.
Be careful about going with the employer-recommended physician, as oftentimes these physicians have been selected because of their propensity to craft injury reports that favor the company. You are better off talking to your workers’ compensation lawyer to see if they have any recommendations of who may be a good treating physician for your specific situation.
If your employer says you cannot pick your own treating physician, pick up the phone and give your attorney a call, because they are misinformed and you are suffering because of it.
Changing Your Doctor
Changing your treating physician is a little trickier, so again it’s imperative to make a smart decision at the outset. Minnesota workers’ compensation law states that if a physician has treated you on two or more occasions, that doctor is considered your primary treating physician. Once you have a primary treating physician, you must provide a “reasonable basis” for switching doctors.
So what constitutes reasonable basis for switching doctors? For starters, you can’t switch doctors simply because you don’t like the injury rating they gave you or the work restrictions they provided. However, there are reasons that you can cite that meet the reasonable basis standard. For example, if you claim that you’ve lost faith in your doctor’s skill because your condition has not improved under their guidance, or there has been a clear breakdown in communication between you and your treating physician, you may have your request to change physicians approved.
Even if you believe you have a reasonable basis, you can’t just switch doctors and explain the situation later. If you change primary treating physicians without prior authorization from your workers’ compensation insurer, they are not liable for treatment provided by a new health care provider. If you want to change doctors mid-treatment, be sure to contact your workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure the changes are approved before you switch so you aren’t surprised with a bill down the road.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into choosing and switching primary care physicians after a work injury. You don’t need to go through the process on your own, so give Dean Margolis and his team at Margolis Law Firm a call today at (952) 230-2700.
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