Workers’ compensation helps ensure employees’ rights and well-being after a work-related accident that results in injuries. It is a no-fault insurance program designed to provide medical benefits and financial support to employees who need it. When a work-related injury occurs, one crucial question that the employee may ask is whether they can choose their workers’ compensation doctor.
In Pennsylvania, the Workers’ Compensation Act governs the state’s workers’ compensation system. This act outlines employers’ and employees’ rights and responsibilities, including the rules regarding selecting doctors for treatment.
Employer’s right to choose an initial doctor
Generally, when an employee sustains a work-related injury, the employer directs them to a company doctor who can provide timely and appropriate medical care to the injured employee while also managing costs.
But while most employers already have designated physicians for work-related injuries, employees also have the right to choose their workers’ compensation doctor. After receiving initial treatment from the employer’s designated doctor, the employee can switch to a healthcare provider of their choice.
Seeking treatment from a different doctor
Suppose an employee decides to seek treatment from a different doctor. In that case, they must notify their employer about their intentions. This notification should be provided in writing and should include the name of the new healthcare provider.
Once they receive the employee’s notification, the employer or insurance company has the right to accept or deny the request. If the employer agrees to the employee’s request to change doctors, they will provide written permission for the switch.
While employers have the authority to designate an initial doctor for treatment, employees can switch to a different healthcare provider if necessary. By following the proper procedures and seeking legal guidance, employees can make informed decisions regarding their medical treatment and maximize their chances of a successful workers’ compensation claim.