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Steps to take if you disagree with your doctor

As you seek to recover from a workplace injury, you should know that you have the right to control the course of your care and treatment. This means you should be on the same page as your treating doctor when it comes to evaluating your condition and determining how you should receive treatment. However, it is possible you might dispute your doctor’s opinions.

The California Department of Industrial Relations goes through a few situations in which you may dispute the results of your doctor’s report about your condition and what you might do in response.

If you disagree about your treatment

In the event you have issues with your doctor’s medical report, discussing your concerns with your primary treating doctor is a good first step. Your doctor may answer your concerns to your satisfaction. However, if you still think your doctor has drawn the wrong conclusions about your condition, you may take further steps to control your care.

You may have a dispute about what the report says concerning your course of treatment. In this event, California law gives you the right to find another doctor to give you a second opinion. The exact steps you should take will depend on whether your care comes from a health care organization, a medical provider network or neither one of them.

If you disagree about other matters

Your disagreement may not be over treatment. Instead, you might dispute your doctor’s conclusions about the cause of your injury or your ability to return to work. In such cases, switching to a second doctor may still be an option. If you cannot change doctors or the second doctor does not agree with you, a further step is to contact the claims administrator with a letter stating your disagreement with your doctor’s medical report.

The administrator may help you by having an agreed medical evaluator or a qualified medical evaluator examine you. The steps you will take will also differ according to whether you have an attorney or not. Be sure to meet the appropriate deadlines to proceed with your examination.

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