6 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Workers’ Compensation Doctor
After a workers’ compensation accident, you may need to find the right worker’s comp doctor in New York to assess, diagnose, and create a medical treatment plan for your injuries. Finding the right workers’ compensation doctor to help you recover can present several challenges and pitfalls, which may harm your claim. Consider some of the top mistakes listed below that thousands of injured workers make every year, which complicates their workers’ comp case or brings a denial in medical care.
1. Not Getting Medical Care From A Doctor Who Specializes in Treating Worker’s Compensation Injuries
One of the biggest mistakes that newly hurt employees make when choosing their treating doctor is only considering their primary physician for care. This is not a great choice for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that a general practitioner may not have enough training for diagnosing and caring for workers’ compensation injuries. In addition to the knowledge gap, their office might not have the necessary staff to process Worker’s Compensation claims.
Documented evidence of your condition and care plan are key pieces to your claim; an error on this paperwork could cost you unnecessary denials and hassle getting the documentation after the fact. Choosing a doctor that specializes in treating Worker’s Compensation injuries will save you a lot of frustration and trouble in the long run.
2. Skipping the Research and Choosing The First Doctor Suggested
You may think that good reviews and years of experience would decide the perfect doctor to treat your work-related injury, but this only part of the vetting process. You also need to be clear on what their practice offers and how that would work for your care. If you have a musculoskeletal issue, you will likely need to see a multispecialty medical practice with the ability to refer you to an orthopedist, pain management doctor, neurologist, physiatrist or a chiropractor. If the doctor you choose only offers primary or family medicine care, this leaves you with a gap in treatment.
When you first call to find out availability for new patients, take time to find out if the practice networks with or offers any of the below services:
- Physical therapy
- Pain management doctor
- Diagnostic tools like x-rays, MRI, CAT scans, and Nerve Conduction Tests (EMG, NCV)
Choosing a physician that specializes in the rehabilitation of worker’s compensation injuries, and that has several onsite medical specialists, or has a network of trusted physicians for referrals, will make meeting your medical needs much easier.
By not having to deal with the hassles of looking for multiple physicians around New York, you can focus on healing and avoid mistakes and lost documentation of your medical care.
3. Skipping Personal References Or Not Paying Attention To Reviews
We have all had our share of doubts when reading positive reviews about a product or doctor that we want. In the back of our minds, we might think they are not real testimonials and just bought content. The reality is that some online reviews of worker’s compensation physicians are legitimate, and online critiques are invaluable in the decision-making process.
You might also talk to friends and family about their own experiences and who they would recommend. If you retained an attorney to represent you for your work-related injuries, they would usually be able to recommend you an experienced workers comp doctor. There isn’t anything that compares to a firsthand account of service by someone you trust and know personally.
4. Choosing A Doctor With Little or No Worker’s Compensation Injury Experience
The Worker’s Compensation process requires not just a lot of documentation, but medical training that specializes in recognizing and treating workplace injuries. This might seem an obvious statement, but looking for a qualified doctor based on credentials and experience isn’t enough, but a good start.
Trusting a doctor that doesn’t understand the type of information Worker’s Compensation needs, and how to present it, can risk your future care and compensation. Any physician you select to treat your injuries should be able to:
- Accurately diagnose your injury
- Provide necessary referrals for additional care as needed
- Have the ability to process required Worker’s Compensation paperwork
- Testify in court as an expert witness
- Keep an accurate record of your care
Try to choose a work comp doctor that has at least a couple of decades of experience under their belt when it comes to correctly diagnosing and treating work-related trauma, injury and, pain.
5. The Doctor’s Office Is Hard For You To Get To
After getting hurt on the job, the reality of your disability may not have sunk in, yet when choosing a workers’ comp doctor’s office for care.
Try to keep your injuries in mind and what you are and are not able to do physically. If you are on crutches, you want to make sure building entrances are easily accessible via a ramp.
Patients also find it easier to follow-through on appointments if they live nearby their caregiver’s office. For those who have to rely on a taxi, Uber, or subway, it’s essential to think about how close the stop is to your work comp doctor’s practice.
6. Not Treating With the WCB-Authorized Medical Provider
This is perhaps the biggest mistake you can make when trying to find the right workers’ comp doctor.
In order for your doctor to submit required paperwork to the Workers’ Compensation Board on your behalf, or even get paid for medical bills for the treatment of your work-related injuries, the doctor must be authorized by the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).
If your doctor is not an authorized NYS WCB medical provider, your worker’s comp case will be in jeopardy and may be liable for payment of associated work-injury medical bills.
You can find a list of WCB authorized medical providers by visiting the Board’s website or clicking “find a doctor” tab on this site. If you need further assistance or help to find the right workers’ compensation doctor call (800) 897-8440 today.