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What is a predesignated personal physician?

As a California worker, you are entitled to medical care and benefits for any injury or illness you suffer while at work. However, under California workers’ compensation rules and regulations, you are not entitled to be treated by your own doctor unless you have predesignated him or her as your personal physician.

As the California Department of Industrial Relations explains, you must have a predesignation of personal physician in place at the time of your work-related injury or illness. If you do not, you are required to be treated by a physician in your employer’s Medical Provider Network.

Personal physician predesignation requirements

It is your responsibility to properly designate your personal physician by meeting the following three conditions prior to the date of your injury or illness:

  1. You must have notified your employer in writing of your designation.
  2. You must have your own nonoccupational health care coverage.
  3. Your personal physician must have agreed to act as your predesignated personal physician.

One of the simplest ways to predesignate is to fill out DWC Form 9783 which you can find online. This form has all the requisite information about your doctor, such as his name and business address, as well as the name of your health care plan or policy. There is a place at the bottom for your physician to sign, indicating that he or she accepts the predesignation. Such signature is not required, but if your physician does not sign the form, you and he or she must provide your employer with some other form of acceptance documentation.

Once you have provided your employer with the proper predesignation, you are not subject to your employer's MPN should you become ill or injured at work. Your employer, however, is still required to provide you with any needed first aid and/or emergency health care services prior to your treatment by your own physician. This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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