Mistakes When Choosing Your Workers’ Compensation Doctor
Business owners must handle countless details every day. Often, the sheer number of things they must attend to leads to mistakes being made. Some of these mistakes can lead to unintentional costs while leaving workers feeling frustrated and like they aren’t important to the company.
Workers’ compensation serves as a good example of where employer errors can lead to a host of issues.
The employer decides which doctor the employee will see. They don’t think twice about the process after doing so, as they assume they have completed what is required and the employee will take care of the rest. Their premium is paid and they can’t treat the employee.
However, the employee comes back and states they are having issues. Why is this happening? What can employers do about it? How can Paige & Campbell Insurance be of help?
Who Chooses the Doctor?
Employees must see the company-selected doctor for the first workers’ compensation visit.
After this visit, the employee has the right to change doctors by filling out a Form 8 Change of Health Care Provider.
The injured party needs to schedule this appointment outside of their normal work hours if they are a part-time employee.
Full-time employees may schedule the appointment during normal working hours, and the employer must pay the individual for the time missed while seeking medical care.
Receiving the Necessary Care
The injured party may contact the doctor selected by the employer.
When they go to set up the initial appointment, they run into a wall. The doctor might state they accept workers’ comp cases, but they currently aren’t accepting new patients.
The patient then needs to go back to the employer to get the name of another doctor.
This process may continue several times before a doctor is found that will see the employee. It may be that the only available doctors aren’t in the employee’s home or workplace vicinity.
Employers need to review the list of doctors available to treat cases of this type. This ensures they don’t send the employee on a wild goose chase as they are trying to recover from their injury.
Making employees take several unnecessary steps to receive the care they need is never wise.
The employer may wish to have someone call the providers on the list to determine whether they are taking new patients before the injured party leaves the building.
It falls on the employer to find a provider from the network that is accepting patients and can see the employee promptly. The injured worker should focus on their recovery during this process and allow the employer to help them obtain health care when it is needed the most.
Related: How to Create a Healthy Work Environment for Your Employees
Employers need to help employees who have been harmed on the job. Workers must feel as if their employer cares for them and values their presence in the organization.
When the employee cannot get the medical care they need as a result of their workers’ compensation claim, they are going to become frustrated.
Unfortunately, if help isn’t received promptly, the employee may choose to take additional steps to guarantee they are covered and get the care they deserve during a difficult time. This might lead to additional costs for the employer.
The employee may choose to hire an attorney and ensure their rights are protected and their medical bills covered.
If the employer hasn’t verified the doctor they selected is accepting new patients, what other steps have they missed in the process?
How will this affect the employee as they move forward with the recovery process?
Will they encounter other problems that could delay their recovery?
Employers must guarantee employees have help when they need it most when it comes to a workers’ compensation claim. Failure to do so could bring about bigger problems for their organization.
Fortunately, insurers are available to help clients make their way through workers’ comp claims, so every business needs to make full use of this resource.
Humans make mistakes. When dealing with a workers’ compensation claim, an employer might unintentionally send an employee to a doctor who isn’t accepting new patients or one that is but has a long waitlist before patients can be seen.
If a mistake is made, the employer needs to own up to it and take steps to rectify the situation. Now is not the time to sit back and allow things to happen. Being proactive is crucial in this situation.
If an employee sees the company is working to resolve the situation and get them the care they need, they are less likely to take further action. They are willing to allow the employer to resolve the situation. Although this may take a little time, they see the employer is trying and the intent is what they consider.
The employer cannot control the actions of others, but if they keep pushing forward with finding a resolution that works for all, the employee recognizes this. They are willing to provide the employer with some grace.
During this time, the employee can be working toward recovery. Now is a good time for this individual to begin looking for doctors specializing in their type of injury.
If they meet with the doctor selected by the employer and don’t feel comfortable staying with this professional, they can move on and switch to someone they prefer. Everything will be in place when this decision is made.
However, as with employers, the employee must know how to go about selecting a doctor to handle their care. They need someone who has experience with similar cases and knowledge of the workers’ compensation process.
Furthermore, this doctor must be able to see them quickly, so they can move forward with the recovery process.
All parties need to work together in workers’ compensation cases. Nobody should come into the situation with an us-versus-them mentality.
When the employer works to help the employee resolve the situation and get the care they need, everyone tends to be more satisfied and the relationship between the various parties is maintained.
Keep this in mind and work on behalf of your employees when they are injured on the job. They’ll appreciate this and share their experiences with others inside the organization.
In addition, they will have a more favourable opinion of their employer, which is always beneficial to the overall organization.