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Can I See Another Doctor for My Workers’ Comp Claim?

December 22, 2020 by Joseph A. Moro
Injured worker consulting a doctor in Ohio.

After a workplace injury, you deserve to get treatment from a doctor you trust. But sometimes, workers find that they are uncomfortable with their physician or the treatment plan prescribed for them. That’s OK. You can see another doctor for your workers’ comp claim in Ohio. However, there are certain restrictions set by the state Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) that you should know about.

Anyone who treats you for a workplace injury or disease must be BWC-certified. This rule does not apply if your initial treating doctor or emergency provider was not certified. However, in order to continue having treatment costs covered by workers’ compensation, you will need to switch to a BWC-certified doctor. If you change doctors, the new provider must also be BWC-certified and you will need to submit proper paperwork to the BWC.

If you’re having difficulty accessing benefits after a work injury, talk to a Northeastern Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer at Heller, Maas, Moro, and Magill Co., LPA. We understand that the workers’ compensation process can be frustrating. We’re here to simplify matters and help you get the benefits you’re owed.

With over 200 years of combined legal experience, our legal team handles complex workers’ comp cases throughout the Mahoning Valley. Let’s get started now. Call or contact us for a free consultation.

 

Can I See My Own Doctor for My Workers’ Comp Claim?

Seeing your own doctor for a workplace injury or illness would be ideal. You know the doctor. The doctor already knows your medical history. But whether you can continue to see your physician will depend on if he/she is certified by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

As mentioned above, seeing your doctor or an emergency physician is OK for initial treatment. But once you notify your employer of your condition, you must switch to a BWC-certified doctor. These doctors may also be called the physicians of record (POR) or treating physician.

It’s possible that your doctor is BWC-certified. You must find out before getting any more treatment, though. There are several channels that you can use to check:

● Ask your doctor.
● Use the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Provider Lookup tool.
● Call the BWC at 1-800-644-6292.
● Call and ask your employer’s managed care organization (MCO).

Your employer may suggest a doctor for you to visit. You are under no obligation to see that provider — but whoever you see must be BWC-certified.

Can I Change Doctors Once Treatment Has Started?

Yes. You don’t have to continue treatment with the first BWC-certified doctor you choose. In order to change doctors, you need to complete Part I of the BWC Notice to Change Physician of Record and submit it to your employer’s managed care organization (MCO). The MCO will need to complete Part II and notify the BWC of the change within 24 hours.

If your employer is self-insured, you should submit the form to the employer directly.

Can My Employer Legally Attend a Workers’ Comp Doctor’s Appointment?

Privacy rules prevent employers from attending an employee’s medical appointments following a workplace accident. Employers also cannot contact your doctor directly to ask about you or your medical condition. Similarly, your provider cannot give private information to your employer without your permission.

You should contact a workers’ compensation attorney right away if your employer attempts to attend your medical appointment or is requesting examinations that you believe are inappropriate. They could be violating workers’ compensation laws that are meant to protect you.

Put an Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Work For You — Get Help Now

Applying for Ohio workers’ compensation and managing any disputes that arise can be confusing, complicated, and just plain stressful. That’s not what you need if you’ve been hurt.

At Heller, Maas, Moro, and Magill Co., LPA, we’ve dedicated our careers to helping Northeastern Ohio employees get the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve after being injured in a workplace accident or diagnosed with an occupational disease.

Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys know that securing benefits can be a vital lifeline for employees who cannot work for a period of time. We’ll fight for you to obtain maximum benefits for your injuries and losses. This can include money for medical expenses, partial wage replacement, disability benefits, and more.

Let’s get started now. We can help you apply for benefits that you deserve. If necessary, our accomplished lawyers can also assist with appealing your case to the Industrial Commission. We’re focused on getting the best results possible in your case. When you work with us, you get vigorous and unrelenting advocates in your corner.

Call or contact us for a free consultation. There’s no fee unless we obtain benefits for you.

About the Author

Joseph A. Moro
The son of a Youngstown steelworker who worked himself in steel mills as a young man, Joseph A. Moro is acutely aware of the challenges that working people face and the dire impacts that injuries and impairments can have on them and their families. After he earned his undergraduate degree from Youngstown State University and his law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, Joseph has largely dedicated his practice to handling workers' compensation and personal injury cases. He is a fluent Spanish speaker who is certified as a Workers’ Compensation Specialist by the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) as well as a certified Veterans Affairs Representative. He currently serves as the OAJ Regional Representative for Youngstown-Warren and on the OSBA Workers’ Compensation Specialty Board.

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