There were around 2.8 million workplace-related injuries in the United States in 2018. These injuries range from mild to very serious, and even life-threatening in many cases.
While not every workplace injury will require medical treatment, the ones that do can pose great difficulties to the injured person.
Because not every doctor accepts workers' compensation insurance, getting treatment can be challenging.
Read on as we look at the doctors that take workers' compensation insurance and how to find them.
What Is Workers' Compensation Insurance?
When someone suffers an injury in the workplace, they may be entitled to workers' compensation. This depends on the circumstances, however.
Employees who injure themselves at work while doing something other than their stated tasks may not be eligible for compensation.
To qualify for a payment, the injury must usually arise directly from an incident at work. It must also be a "natural and foreseeable consequence" of the work being carried out. Therefore, employees who injure themselves at work while doing something other than their stated tasks may not be eligible for compensation.
The employer is the party who will be liable to pay this compensation if it arises. Many employers, therefore, take out insurance to cover this risk.
What Doctors Accept Workers' Compensation Insurance?
As noted above, doctors are not always willing to treat recipients of workers' compensation. To have your condition seen to, you will often have to find a specialist workers compensation doctor.
However, this requirement will vary depending on the state you're in and the stage of treatment you're at.
Most states permit workers' compensation patients to choose any physician they wish for their initial appointment. This includes emergency room visits.
If you do go to a doctor of your own choosing, you should make sure to communicate to them that you are a workers' compensation patient. They will have to fill out certain forms in respect of workers' compensation patients.
In some states, notably California, you must go to a doctor of your employer's choosing, except in emergency situations.
For ongoing care, there are greater restrictions in terms of the doctors you can go to. These rules also vary from state to state.
Generally, the doctors that provide care to workers' compensation patients are approved by the state.
States have certain limitations in place in terms of the type of care you can receive. For example, you will only be entitled to a certain amount of massage therapy or chiropractic care.
In some states, employers can create a network of workers' compensation doctors and require their employees to seek treatment from someone within that network.
If you seek treatment from someone not legally entitled to provide it, your employer or their insurer may refuse to pay for it.
Getting the Care You Need
Suffering an injury at work is a traumatic experience for anyone. The difficulties posed by the injury itself are often compounded by an enforced absence from work.
However, one thing you shouldn't have to worry about is finding appropriate care. While finding a doctor who accepts workers' compensation insurance can be difficult in some places, it is always possible.
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