Georgia Workers’ Compensation: Medical Treatment
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: Medical Treatment
What to do if emergency medical attention is needed?
If severely injured, you should obtain the immediate medical treatment as required by the emergency situation.
•· However, if possible, obtain your medical treatment from the authorized (panel) physician or from a facility as provided or designated by your employer.
•· If an authorized physician is not available, or if the employer refuses or fails to identify or to pay for the treatment, then you may select a physician, emergency room or treatment facility to provide for your emergency care.
•· That selected physician will be the authorized to treat you for the reasonably necessary emergency care you need.
Who is authorized to provide me with medical treatment?
Medical benefits and treatment are normally provided to you by an authorized treating physician. Your employer is required to post a panel or list of physicians in prominent places in its place of business. This Panel of Physicians is normally a pink piece of paper, and often has an additional sheet with it explaining your rights or benefits under Georgia Workers’ Compensation Law.
•· Ask your employer for the medical treatment providers for your on the job injury.
•· Select the physician of your choice from the posted Panel of Physicians.
•· If the employer refuses to provide you with an authorized physician, or refuses to pay for your medical expenses, then you may obtain medical treatment from a physician of your choice, and that physician will be deemed the authorized treating physician. (Again, document the refusal with a note stating when and who refused to approve the treatment).
Do I have to use the authorized treating physician for my medical care?
Yes. If the injury is covered by workers compensation, you will be required to use the authorized treating physician for your treatment. If you do not use the authorized treating physician for you medical care, your employer and its insurance carrier will not be required to pay for those services. Additionally, your private health insurance carrier will not pay for medical services if it appears that it is a workers’ compensation case and the medical treatment should be paid for by workers’ compensation insurance.
Do I have to accept the treatment provided for by my authorized treating physician?
If medical treatment is recommended by your authorized treating physician and provided for you by your employer or its insurance company, then you must accept that treatment or you may loose benefits (medical and/or income) on a temporary and/or permanent basis.
Can I change my authorized treating physician?
Yes, you have the right to make one change of physician to another physician listed on your employer’s Panel of Physicians. You do this my notifying the insurance carrier’s adjustor that you want to make a change and informing them which panel physician you want to see. If you wish to make a second change of physician or if you want a non-panel physician, then you must file a change of physician request (motion) with the Workers’ Compensation Board. To be successful in your request for change of physician, you must show good cause or the insurance carrier must agree to the change.
Can I get the employer’s insurance carrier to pay for a second opinion from an independent doctor?
Yes, but only under limited circumstances. The employee, after an accepted compensable injury and within 120 days of receipt of any income benefits having been paid, has the right to one independent medical examination by a duly qualified physician or surgeon designated by the employee and to be paid for by the employer. Such examination may include physical, psychiatric, and psychological examinations.
An experienced attorney familiar with Workers’ Compensation law can help you protect your rights and can help you get the benefits you deserve. We have the knowledge, experience and skill to assist you in dealing with the process of obtaining the medical and income benefits you need when you are unable to work due to injury on the job or work-related disease . We represent workers in Workers’ Compensation injury and disease claims throughout North Georgia including Cobb County, Cherokee County, Bartow County, Floyd County, Paulding County, Fulton County and Forsyth County. Contact us today to discuss your situation and the benefits you are be entitled to receive.