Suffering a workplace injury can be a sensitive issue for you. You want to go to a doctor that you know and trust to discuss your condition. But you may have heard that a workers’ compensation system does not permit you to choose your own doctor. Fortunately, the state of Louisiana allows its citizens greater flexibility when it comes to seeking out a treating doctor.
Louisiana law addresses the issue of whether you can choose your own doctor. The good news is that you stand a good chance of having your primary care doctor help you through your injury, provided that you take the correct steps.
Picking a treating doctor
Your employer has probably given you a list of physicians that are a part of the employer’s health care provider network. You may pick a doctor from this list to treat your injury. This is common with workers’ comp cases. But Louisiana law is clear that you have the right to select a treating doctor that is not on this list.
Keep in mind that the physician you choose must be one physician of any specialty or field. However, state law allows you to change your physician to another doctor that operates in a different specialty or field. If you want to change your doctor to another in the same field, you must obtain consent from your employer or the workers’ compensation carrier.
Appealing a denial of doctor choice
It is possible that your employer’s insurer may refuse to approve your choice of doctor. If so, you can act quickly. State law lets you appeal the denial through an expedited summary proceeding. Once you file the motion, you must receive the hearing no less than 10 days or more than 30 days.
A judge will determine whether the employer or insurer had sufficient cause to deny your choice of physician. If not, the judge will likely order the approval of your doctor. So even if you experience trouble in securing your choice of doctor, you have legal options that may assist you.