If you’re like most people, you've seen the same general practitioner for many years. You trust him or her completely with your care and would never voluntarily go to another doctor.
However, now that you’re suffering from a workplace injury or illness, you're suddenly required to go to a strange doctor. Unfortunately, that's just the way it is in Ohio.
If you want your treatment covered by workers' comp, you have to go to a doctor certified by the Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC). Here are a few ideas to help make the choice a little easier.
First, Find Out If Your Doctor Is BWC-Certified
It’s possible your current physician is also an approved workers’ comp healthcare provider. You can ask him or her, or check the BWC’s provider look-up form online.
If Not, Take This Advice
If your doctor isn't certified, it’s important to take the time to find a doctor who's the right fit for you. Not only will this person be in charge of your treatment, but he'll also be the one to decide your return to work. So, make sure you can communicate openly with him and that he or she is sympathetic to your needs.
- Find the right specialist. Depending on your injury or illness, choose a physician who's either a specialist in that area or experienced with your specific condition.
- Get referrals. Asking friends, family members, and coworkers for recommendations is a good starting point, especially if they've also collected workers’ compensation.
- Think about location. Your doctor should be convenient for you to get to. If you have a musculoskeletal injury or chronic illness that makes travel difficult, you will make your life a lot easier by finding a nearby doctor.
- Schedule a meeting. You shouldn’t commit to someone you've never met. At your initial appointment, check out the office staff and ask the doctor questions to get to know him or her a little better before making a decision.
- Ask us. In our many years of representing workers, we have become familiar with many excellent doctors in the area. If you're a client and having a hard time finding a doctor you like, ask Wilma in our office. She'll be happy to make a recommendation.
You deserve the best possible care after suffering a work injury or illness, so don’t allow yourself to be rushed choosing a doctor.
Find Out How We Can Help
Has your employer made you feel like you're lying about your injury or trying to cheat the system? That shouldn’t happen.
If you were injured on the job, you have a right to workers' comp benefits and shouldn’t be made to feel bad about requesting them. For a personalized assessment of your claim, contact us. We're easy to talk to and will help you navigate your legal situation, even if it turns out you don't need a lawyer.
For more information in the meantime, request a free copy of our book, The Worker’s Guide to Injury Compensation in Ohio.