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Know your health care rights for workers' compensation

Being injured at work comes with a lot of unknowns. You don't know how bad the injury is, how long you will have to remain off work, or what the healing process will entail. This puts you into a bit of a bind because you can't get your bills paid or get the medical care that you need with the mere hope that you will eventually be able to work again.

One option that injured workers have is to file a workers' compensation claim that can help them to get medical care, disability benefits while they work on healing, and other benefits. When you have to file for these benefits, you need to make sure that you know your rights. This is important because you need to ensure that you get what is due to you. Here are some points you should know about medical care after you are hurt at work.

Choice of doctor

Where you get medical care depends on a few factors. One is whether you predesignated your own doctor prior to getting hurt. If you did this, you can seek care from your own doctor. If you didn't predesignate your own doctor, you will have to seek medical care from the Medical Provider Network or Health Care Organization that is chosen by your employer and approved by the Division of Workers' Compensation.

Care in absence of predesignation, MPN or HCO

If no predesignation, MPN or HCO is present, you have to see the doctor chosen by the claims administrator for at least the first 30 days of care. After this period, you can choose where you seek medical care as long as it is within a reasonable distance from your location.

Chiropractic and acupuncturist visits

If you provided the information for a personal chiropractor or acupuncturist to your employer prior to your injury, you can turn to that professional as your primary care provider after 30 days. There is a limit of 24 chiropractic visits before you will have to find another health care provider as your primary care provider.

Handling disagreements

There are times when disagreements will occur about your medical care. In this case, you will have to go before a qualified medical evaluator or agreed medical evaluator to help resolve the differences between you and the claims administrator.

When you file for workers' compensation, you have to pay close attention to any correspondence you receive regarding your claim. If you disagree with anything or think that something isn't correct, you will have to follow the steps outlined in the correspondence to try to rectify the situation. Pay close attention to time limits and requirements for this process.

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