A worker injured on the job in New York is, in most cases, entitled to receive the care necessary to achieve maximum recovery. If you select the wrong doctor, however, your recovery could be negatively affected.
A directory for approved doctors
Those eligible for coverage under workers' compensation have the right to choose their physician, podiatrist, or chiropractor.
Employers are not allowed to direct a worker to a provider unless he or she is part of a preferred provider organization contracted with under the employer's insurance policy. At the same time, except in the case of emergency care, the law requires care providers to be authorized by the Workers' Compensation Board.
To facilitate care delivery, the WCB provides an online directory search of authorized providers, listed by specialty or last name. They are also broken out by geography, such as county and zip code.
Of course, just because a care provider has authorization doesn't mean they are accepting new patients or that you will be able to get a timely appointment. Seeing one of the approved doctors is essential, however, because seeing an unauthorized provider could result in denial of a payment claim.
Identifying the right doctor
If the directory includes your personal doctor, your decision is easier. But if you must select a new doctor, many authorities say the doctor:
- Should have the training and understanding needed to treat your condition.
- Is willing to see you in the context of the workers' compensation system of payment.
- Is prepared to supply the depth of detailed reporting needed to support your claim.
If you have been stymied in your efforts to obtain proper care, speak with an experienced workers' comp attorney.