I am treating with an orthopedic doctor who gives me a quick examination and then prescribes me medications. I would like to change doctors and really want to treat with a chiropractor. The adjuster who is handling the case said he prefers that I continue treating with the doctor whom they authorize. Can I change to a chiropractor?
If the claim is accepted, an injured worker will usually be given a medical provider network list of approved doctors to treat with. The medical provider network will include several specialties of doctors with whom a worker can treat. This includes orthopedic, internal, physical therapist, and chiropractors among many. Therefore, if the list contains a chiropractor, then the injured worker may treat with a chiropractor.
Of course, there are the required complications in the workers’ compensation system that come into play. One is if the list does not include a chiropractor. The workers’ compensation system has rules as to what makes a medical provider network list valid. The list is supposed to include physicians primarily engaged in the treatment of occupational injuries. Therefore, one can argue that the list is incomplete if there are no chiropractors on it. If that is the case, then the worker can treat with a chiropractor. There are many other factors that will make a medical provider network deficient. Another issue is that the Labor Code limits visits with a chiropractor to only 24 per injury.
If the claim is denied, then the injured worker may pick any chiropractor to treat him or her, provided the doctor is willing to treat knowing the injury is work related.
If you have questions about your workers' compensation injury and want to talk to an attorney in Fresno, please call 559-408-7436 or fill out the form to the right.
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