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Who chooses the physician in a workers’ compensation case?

Being injured in the workplace can be a difficult experience. Tulsa residents who are thrust into such a situation not only have to deal with the physical injury and the corresponding recovery process, but they may be concerned that they will not be able to afford the sometimes staggering costs of medical treatment. Fortunately, the workers’ compensation system is in place to help Oklahoma residents in such circumstances.


How should a Oklahoman injured at work go about getting medical treatment? After the injury occurs, the individual’s employer will provide all the necessary treatment for the injury to a reasonable extent. Such treatment may include treatment given by a physician or a surgeon. In Oklahoma, the individual’s employer is the one who determines which physician will take care of the individual’s injuries. That being said, if the individual’s employer does not do so within one week of being notified of the injury, the individual can select a physician to treat him or her, which will be paid for by the employer.


What if an injured worker wants to change which physician he or she sees for treatment of his or her injury? Such changes are contingent upon whether the individual has coverage from a certified workplace medical plan. If the worker has coverage through such a plan, he or she can seek a single change of doctors to another one within the plan’s network via a specified process for resolving disputes. If such efforts have been exhausted, the individual can turn to the court to change the doctor he or she sees. If the worker does not have coverage through such a plan, he or she can turn to the court for such a change. However, it is necessary that the individual have received medical care for the injured body part within 180 days before the individual asks the court to allow him or her to change his or her doctor.


Seeking medical treatment from the right physicians is important when it comes to workers’ compensation cases. Since this post cannot serve as legal advice, individuals in Tulsa who want to pursue workers’ compensation and are unsure if they are receiving care from the appropriate physician can discuss the matter with an attorney.

Source: Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims, “Employee’s FAQ,” Accessed Oct. 12, 2015


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