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How Do I Change Doctors in my Workers' Comp Case?

As with any injury, your top priority after sustaining a workplace injury is to receive proper medical attention and care. If you find yourself receiving treatment from a doctor who is unsatisfactory, it’s likely you’ll request to change your physician. In California, there are a number of factors that are considered when deciding who treats your injuries.

If You Predesignated a Doctor

If you are offered group health coverage at your place of employment, you have the right to predesignate a doctor – as long as he or she is someone with whom you’ve built a history of treatment. Under these circumstances, you’ll experience the least amount of restrictions or complications in switching doctors. There is no cap on the amount of times you can switch and you can do so with no waiting period.

Does your employer have MPN?

A medical provider network, otherwise known as an MPN, is a group of healthcare providers established by your employer. These providers are approved by the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) to provide treatment to employers who are injured while at work. If your job falls under the umbrella of MPN and you’re looking to switch physicians, you can switch up to two times. Your second or third selection must be doctors provided by your work's MPN.

If Your Employer Doesn’t Have an MPN

It can be easy to run into complications if your employer does not have an MPN established. Were you given a specific doctor or health care group? If so, you must wait 30 days before selecting your own doctor.

If you were given a choice between two or more physicians, you must adhere to the following waiting periods:

  • 90 days if your place of employment does not offer group health insurance
  • 180 days if your place of employment offers group health insurance

You can also make a one-time request to change doctors – but if your insurance company acts on the request within five days of it being filed, they will select your new doctor.

The skilled litigators at Berry, Smith & Bartell, A Professional Law Corporation proudly protect the Central Valley’s injured workers. We represent clients throughout Bakersfield, Fresno, and Santa Maria. Injured while on the job? Put 120 years of combined legal experience on your side.

Call to speak with a Central Valley workers’ compensation lawyer today!

For a free case evaluation with Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation call 1-800-848-6288 today!

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