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When can I choose my own doctor to treat a work injury?

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

A prime benefit of the workers’ compensation system is the coverage you can get for your medical treatment costs following a work injury. However, you might not get compensation if you visit any doctor you choose. It depends on the situation.

Workplaces that offer workers’ comp must post a list of physicians. To receive benefits, you must select one of the care providers on the list. However, some circumstances allow for compensation even if you go with a provider of your preference.

An improper physician list

In the absence of a posted list, state law allows you to pick your own care provider. Still, even if your employer has posted a list, you should read it carefully. State law establishes various requirements for a physician list, including but not limited to the following:

  • Specialty and contact information for each provider
  • At least three providers are physicians
  • The providers are geographically close
  • Providers can treat work-related conditions

If your employer fails to provide a list that follows Pennsylvania law and regulations, you may seek a care provider of your choice to give you treatment.

A need for a specialist

Sometimes an injury requires treatment from a specialist who is not on an employer-provided list. State law may permit care from a non-posted provider as long as your care is both reasonable and essential to treat your injury.

The state workers’ compensation system is flexible enough to offer various options to help you get treatment. Keep in mind that your employer cannot require you to go to a specific doctor. You have the right to dictate your care choices as you see fit.