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Can I choose my doctor if I get an injury on the job?

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2021 | Workers' Compensation, Workplace Accidents, Workplace Injuries |

An accident at work can always happen. The good thing is that injuries and diseases that you get on the job are your employer’s responsibility. However, that doesn’t mean that your employer can force you to go to the doctor of their choice. In Minnesota, you have the right to choose your certified health care provider or get treatment from a doctor you trust.

Worker’s Compensation in Minnesota

You might be afraid that the doctor your employer chooses won’t meet your quality standards, but that won’t happen in Minnesota. If your employer gets coverage from a managed care plan certified by the Department of Labor and Industry, you can choose any doctor within that network. Some employers don’t get coverage from a certified plan, in which case you are not forced to receive treatment from a doctor in that network. 

Certified managed care plans

A managed care plan is an organization certified by the state to manage the care of injured workers. It ensures the quality of treatment and encourages communication between the parties (the employer, the injured worker and the doctor). There are three of them in Minnesota, and when you get hurt on the job, your employer must tell you the name of the plan and give you information to contact someone there.

The doctor of your choice

Once you get in touch with the organization, they will give you a list of the providers in the plan. You must choose any doctor on the list. If you want your employer’s insurer to pay for the medical expenses, you must go to a certified provider unless:

  • You need emergency care
  • You want to receive treatment from another provider who can treat your injury. It can be someone who has treated you at least twice in the past two years or has a history of treating you.
  • You live too far from a health care provider in the plan

The doctor you choose will treat your injuries or illness and send all bills and information to the insurer. They cannot bill you for your treatments unless they are not work-related.

Important considerations

You must know that your employer’s insurer may ask you to go to an independent medical examination with a doctor of their choice right after filing your worker’s compensation claim. This doctor won’t be the one treating your injuries. They will only verify your need for medical treatment to the insurer. If you refuse to go to this independent examination, you may not receive your benefits.

Your right as a worker

Not only do you have the right to access worker’s compensation benefits, but you also deserve to receive quality medical treatment. If you disagree with something on the plan, you can submit a written complaint to the plan. If you are unhappy with their response, you can take your case to the Department of Labor and Industry. It is your right as a worker to receive quality medical treatment for your work-related injuries, and you can fight for it by taking legal action.