Can I choose my own doctor in a workers’ comp claim?

| Jan 22, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Minnesota employees might be wondering whether they are able to select their own doctor when they file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has addressed this issue.

Your own doctor

A work-related injury may receive treatment by your own doctor. This means that you get to choose your doctor and can use the personal physician that you know and trust and who knows your health.

Why would I need to see a designated health care provider?

In some cases, you may need to see a designated health care provider. This will happen under the following three conditions:

  • You belong to a managed care plan for treatment and supplies.
  • Your employer is part of a collective bargaining agreement which may have a specific list of medical providers from which to choose. This list may also specify an IME, or independent medical examination.
  • Your employer may require that you get prescriptions and nonprescription medicines at a pharmacy or network of pharmacies that are within 15 miles of your home.

Examination by an IME

What is an IME? It is an independent medical examination that is a choice of your employer or insurance for an evaluation. The purpose of this exam is to obtain an opinion about job-related and medical issues.

Your rights

You have certain rights during the workers’ compensation claim process. They extend to sick leave and paid time off, and your work-related injury has no bearing on your employer’s obligations under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. For more information as well as for assistance with the preparation and timely submission of your required claim documentation, it is advisable for you to meet with an attorney who has experience with these matters.