Can I see any doctor after a workplace injury?
One of the most common questions people have about Ohio’s workers’ compensation system is about whether they can see the doctor of their choice when seeking medical care and treatment after a workplace injury. As with so many questions in the law, the best answer to this question is “It depends.” In this post, we will discuss when injured workers can choose their own doctor and when they cannot.
First visit and subsequent visits
If you have been injured at work, your first priority is to get medical attention. You should not have to spend time trying to find out which medical providers are accepted by your employer’s workers’ compensation program and which are not. For this reason, you can see any doctor for your first visit. If this is an emergency, you will not have to pay the cost of this visit out of your pocket.
After you first visit, if you need to see a doctor again for your injury, you must see a medical provider who is certified by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. This doctor will become known as your physician or record, or POR. If your injury has left you temporarily unable to work, you must bring a Temporary Total Compensation request form to the medical provider for them to sign.
If, after your first visit, you go to a medical provider who is not certified by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, you will have to pay for the visit yourself.
Sometimes an injured worker disagrees with their POR’s diagnosis, or otherwise objects to the decision about their care. In these cases, the worker can request an independent review of their medical case. If they are still not satisfied with the result of the independent review, they may appeal to the Ohio Industrial Commission.
There can be a lot of bureaucratic red tape involved when injured workers are just trying to get their benefits after a workplace injury. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney can help these workers to understand their rights and their options for fighting for the benefits they need.
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