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Can you control which doctor your injured employee sees? 

A workplace injury can be stressful for all parties. Neither employees nor employers relish the fact that someone has been hurt. Getting appropriate medical treatment will be the top priority and this can come from numerous sources. 

During workers’ compensation claims, a balance has to be struck between protecting the rights of the worker and the business. So, who gets the final say in terms of the doctor that oversees treatment? 

The employee can choose from an approved list

State laws in New York permit employees to seek assistance from a doctor of their choosing, provided that the doctor has been approved by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). 

While this gives employees a say, it also means that designated doctors are subject to strict guidelines that balance the interests of the injured employee against the interests of the employer and state.

Your insurance may limit the choice of doctor

It is possible that your company is covered by a plan known as a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). This means that the insurance policy will set out medical facilities that they prefer injured employees to attend. 

However, such a policy is also subject to conditions under state law. There must be a minimum choice of at least two doctors and medical institutions. Furthermore, if the injury requires immediate emergency care, the employee is entitled to see any doctor that is best placed to care for them for that initial visit.

The health of workers is of the utmost importance to your business, but it is also important to ensure that workers’ compensation claims are legitimate. If you suspect a problem with one of your employees who is claiming workers’ compensation, understanding your legal rights is the first step in finding a solution.   

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