One of the things many clients want to know when they contact my firm is what sort of medical care they can expect to receive if they are injured while on the job. They want to know if they will be able to see their own doctor or if they have to go to someone that has been pre-selected by their employer or employers' insurer.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) started requiring workplaces to compile detailed reports concerning serious injuries late last year. Before this requirement went into place, the agency did not have a system to accurately determine the number of serious injuries occurring at factories and workplaces across the United States.
If your employer or their insurance company sends you to a doctor they will eventually ask, "do you like Dr. Smith?" They will tell you, "If you want to continue to see Dr. Smith, you have to choose him as your doctor." They will ask you to sign a "choice of physician form." If you sign the form, Dr. Smith becomes your doctor and the insurance company can go out and get another doctor if they ever disagree with Dr. Smith. Before you agree, keep in mind - the insurance company or employer sent you to that doctor for a reason. You need to question how often do they use that doctor. If the doctor gets a lot of business from the insurance company, will he or she really be on your side? Will this doctor truly be concerned with your well-being or rush to put you back to work before you are ready. The bottom line is - think before you sign a "choice of physician form." Better yet, call me first!