What if My Workers' Compensation Doctor is Not Providing Sufficient Care?
It happens more often than you think…
I’ll be meeting with a workers’ comp client, discussing their medical treatment, when the client reveals to me:
“I don’t feel my doctor wants to help me get better.”
Sadly, this isn’t all that uncommon.
Many of my clients have reported that the authorized workers’ comp doctor was condescending and entirely unprofessional in their interaction.
You see, some medical professionals are less than sympathetic to an injured worker because they believe that people fake injuries to receive benefits.
If this happens to you and you believe the doctor is unwilling to help you recover from your work injury, there are a few things you can do…
4 Things You Should Do When Faced with a Rude Workers’ Comp Doctor
1) Bring a friend or family member to your appointment.
It may be helpful to take a friend or family member along who can take good notes about the appointment. They can observe how the appointment was handled and assist with descriptions of problems.
2) Keep a journal.
Document your doctor’s appointment as best you can. Keep a journal of the interactions and be as specific as possible in your journal entries. Include details such as,
- The doctor’s attitude,
- The doctor’s tone of voice,
- The duration of the visit (i.e., the amount of time the actual examination took, not the total amount of time you were waiting in the office.)
3) No matter how rude or unpleasant the doctor is, be nice in return.
Easier said than done, I know, but when faced with a rude or condescending doctor the best you can do is approach each appointment with a positive frame of mind.
Be nice and cordial to the doctor and the doctor’s staff.
Let them know you are working as hard as you can to get well.
It is certainly not fair that the workers’ comp adjuster can assign you a doctor who is rude; nevertheless, workers’ comp doesn’t need to provide a great doctor. It is entirely within its right to pick a doctor who is rude, unprofessional, and uncaring.
4) Seek a second opinion with a “one-time change” of doctors.
You do have the right to seek a second opinion and change your authorized doctor. This is known as a “one-time change.”
However, there are two very detrimental events that can occur when using your one-time change.
- First, if the new doctor agrees with the old doctor, then nothing is being gained.
- Second, if the new doctor actually thinks you need less treatment than the first doctor, then it is likely the insurance company will want to listen to the new doctor’s opinion and provide less treatment.
Since you can only change doctors once, I do not suggest using a one-time change of doctors without consulting an experienced attorney to review your options first.
Coye Law Tip: If you move to a new area, the workers’ comp insurance company is required to provide you with a new doctor without using your one-time change. Watch my video below to learn more: