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How to choose your treating doctor for your work injury

If you sustain an injury at your workplace, you probably want your personal doctor to treat you. Many people prefer to discuss their medical treatment with a physician they trust. If you follow certain procedures, you have the right to choose someone to treat your workplace injury while receiving workers’ comp coverage.

According to California law, you cannot choose your own doctor on the date of your injury. You must predesignate your personal doctor before you get hurt on the job. There are some steps to take to make this happen.

How to predesignate a doctor

To predesignate your doctor, you need to inform your employer in writing. You must provide information such as the name and address of your doctor. If you name a medical group to treat you, you should write down their contact information. You should also state that you designate your doctor or medical group to treat you in the event of a workplace injury. Remember to date the form and sign it.

Check the qualifications of your provider

California law has some qualifications a doctor or medical group must meet for you to predesignate them. Your doctor must be a doctor of medicine or osteopathy who has given you prior medical treatment. If you predesignate a group, make sure it consists of licensed doctors of osteopathy or medicine and that it mainly treats medical issues not related to your work.

You should also contact your doctor or group to secure their permission to treat you. Your predesignation may not work if your doctor does not agree to treat your workplace injury in advance. One way to show you have secured permission is to acquire a signature from a doctor or someone who works for the doctor or your medical group.

Since dealing with painful injuries can be a sensitive matter, you may want to entrust your care to a health care provider you have a history with. If you follow predesignation procedures, you have the right to do so and receive workers’ comp coverage.

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