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Can I Choose My Own Doctor After a Work Injury in Minnesota?

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Posted By KSK Law | September 29 2023 | Workers' Comp

Understanding your rights after experiencing a workplace injury is essential, especially when it comes to seeking medical attention. Timely and appropriate care is crucial for your recovery, and knowing which doctor you can see plays a pivotal role in this process.

Do I Have the Right to Choose My Own Doctor

When you’ve been injured at work in Minnesota, it’s essential to know that you have the right to select the medical professional you prefer. Moreover, if your work injury claim is accepted, these medical expenses should be covered. 

However, it’s not uncommon for employers to suggest specific physicians or even offer to schedule appointments. While these gestures might seem helpful, remember that your health and recovery are paramount, and the final decision rests with you.

Can I Change My Workers’ Comp Doctor?

While you have the freedom to choose your doctor, there are limitations to consider. Within the first 60 days after your treatment begins, you can switch your medical provider without needing any prior authorization. After this period, changing to a new physician requires a valid reason, such as dissatisfaction with the treatment, lack of faith in the doctor’s skills, or communication challenges.

However, you would not be allowed to request a change in physician if any of the following are true:

  • The change is intended to block reasonable treatment or avoid returning to work.
  • The new provider lacks the expertise necessary to treat the injury.
  • The purpose of the change is for legal reasons, rather than medical reasons.
  • The new physician requires unreasonable travel for the injured worker.
  • The injured worker does not require further treatment at the time of the request.
  • The change is not in the best interests of the injured worker or his or her employer.

When Can My Employer Choose My Physician?

In specific scenarios, your employer does have a say in your choice of physician. These situations typically involve the location of the physician, the presence of a collective bargaining agreement, or a managed care plan.

  • Your Location: If you opt for a doctor located at a significant distance, your employer might require that any prescriptions be filled within a 15-mile radius.
  • Collective Bargaining Agreement: If your workplace operates under a collective bargaining agreement, it might specify physicians from an approved list. Here, the employer can pick from a list compiled by the workers’ comp insurance provider.
  • Employer’s Managed Care Plan: An employer might have an established managed care plan, which lets them select health care providers for employees in case of injuries. Such plans, however, must be certified by the Minnesota state labor office in advance. If your employer didn’t have a certified plan at the time of your accident or was in the middle of the certification process, you retain the right to choose your doctor.

Speak to a Minnesota Workers’ Comp Attorney Today

The nuances of workers’ compensation law can be intricate. If you’ve been injured on the job, ensuring you receive proper medical care is of the utmost importance. However, it is equally crucial to seek the assistance of a Minneapolis workers’ compensation attorney.

An attorney can help you navigate the claims process, protect your rights, and advocate aggressively for your right to fair benefits. After seeking medical care for your injury, contact a lawyer to schedule a free consultation and plan your next steps.

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