Unfortunately, insurance companies nowadays often intimidate injured workers by reminding them that they—not you—have the “right to direct medical care.” In other words, your employer and the health insurance company on their plan have the power to decide which physician you should see.
To some extent, this is true, but there are exceptions. Keep in mind that in some circumstances employees can select the physician of his or her choice. You just need the right attorney to help you navigate the workers’ compensation process and understand what those exceptions are. If you’ve been injured on the job and need to see a physician, here are a few key points to consider:
Your insurance company is not your physician. Don’t empower them; empower yourself and your doctor. After all, you know best about your injury, and your doctor knows how to help you get better. He or she is the one who went to medical school, received the proper training, and understands the practice of medicine. Not your insurance company.
You have a right to the best medical care. If your doctor believes certain treatment is appropriate for you and the workman’s comp insurance company is refusing to pay, you and your doctor need to fight for the proper course of treatment.
Team up with your doctor to fight for your rights. Have your doctor detail in writing why he or she feels you need a particular treatment. Your attorney can then use this documentation to file a motion with the Industrial Commission, seeking approval for the recommended care.
Don’t allow yourself or your physician to get frustrated and give up. If the care you need is not being authorized or is being denied by an internal utilization review conducted in-house at the insurance company, keep fighting. Your health is worth the fight!
Oxner + Permar has won case after case in which it seemed that the employee was going to be bullied by the insurance company. We don’t let that happen. In workers’ compensation cases, we care about the employee who has been hurt on the job, and we know how to make sure that their rights are protected. And insurance companies know our reputation—as attorneys who don’t give up until they get the care that they deserve.