Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C.

Can I choose my doctor?

If you're injured on the job in Pennsylvania, you may want to pick out your doctor rather than taking one that the company or insurance company directs you to. Are you allowed to choose your personal doctor or is this choice made for you by those who are footing the bill though workers' compensation?

In some cases, you can pick your own doctor. You can certainly do it if your claim is not accepted by your employer.

However, employers do have the right to put together a list of potential health care providers. This list can contain at least six different options. It also has to be posted somewhere in your workplace. If your employer does this, you have to choose from those six options, and you then have to keep going to that doctor for the next three months.

You can go get a second opinion for cases in which invasive surgery is needed. However, even after you get that opinion, you have to go back to the list to choose the provider, and you can't wait more than 90 days to have the surgery carried out. You cannot get a second opinion from someone who is not on the list and then choose to go to that provider.

Your employer does have the right not to pay if you go to a different doctor. You also have an obligation to tell your employer which doctor you chose.

It's good to know all of your rights and abilities when using workers' compensation, as you need to follow the rules to have the costs covered.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, "Workers' Compensation & the Injured Worker," accessed July 17, 2015

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