If you have gone to the same doctor for years, it is probably because they have earned your trust. You get along well with them and know they have the experience, knowledge and caring attitude to help you and your family through illness and injury.
Naturally, after getting hurt at work, you want treatment from a doctor like that. But you might have heard that Massachusetts workers’ compensation law requires you to use a doctor that your employer chooses. Fortunately, that is not true. You have the right to choose the doctor who will treat your work-related injury or illness — after the first visit.
‘Preferred provider’ first
That is because Massachusetts law allows employers to require you to make your initial appointment with a “preferred provider,” possibly to receive an Independent Medical Examination (IME). After that, you can change to your regular physician or any other doctor you wish. Thus, you can get diagnosed by a doctor you like and trust, not one that does not know you and might tend to diagnose injuries as non-work related, no matter the facts.
Once you get approved for benefits, you have the right to change doctors once without having to get permission from your employers’ workers’ comp insurance company. If you want to make another change, you will need permission from the insurer or be stuck paying the medical bills yourself.
Getting the treatment you need to get better (or as close to better as possible) is one of the fundamental things that workers’ compensation covers. You can also get a portion of your regular pay and other benefits.