If you have ever gone through the process of choosing a primary care physician, you know how difficult it can be to choose a doctor. You need someone that you can trust to provide the best possible care, without the possibility of unnecessary treatment and cost. You need someone that you feel comfortable with, and yet you also need someone whose opinion and guidance you trust. In short, choosing a good doctor can be a lot like choosing a relationship—it takes time, effort, and patience.
After a workplace accident that has left you hurt and temporarily out of work, it is easy to see why many people want to see their primary care physician for treatment. They have a long-term commitment to this specific doctor, and in a time of need, this working relationship is priceless. Unfortunately, however, there are very specific rules in Georgia for choosing a physician to provide care during a workers’ compensation claim. Those rules probably bar you from seeing your own doctor if you have suffered a workplace injury or occupational disease.
An Overview of the Medical Treatment Rules in Georgia
- In an emergency, you may seek treatment from the nearest emergency medical facility and physician. Once your emergency is over, however, you will need to choose a doctor from your employer’s approved list of physicians.
- Your employer must provide you with a list of at least six physicians who have been approved to treat on-the-job injuries. Once you choose one of these physicians, you are allowed to switch physicians once to another physician on the list. After you have changed doctors once, you must get approval from your employer or workers’ compensation administrator to change again.
- If you choose to see a physician who is not on the approved list, your employer will not be expected to pay for your medical care, and it is possible that your health insurance will not cover the cost, either.
While a life-changing injury deserves the best care, it is also important that you do not jeopardize your workers’ compensation benefits by choosing an unapproved doctor.
Have You Been Injured At Work?
If you've been injured on the job you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Augusta office directly at 706.863.6600 to schedule your free consultation.