Choosing a Good Workers’ Comp Doctor in Texas
Your health, your future and the amount of your benefits depends upon whom you choose. “Treating Doctor” is the Texas Workers’ Compensation term for the doctor recognized by the State as the doctor primarily responsible for your medical care. We have opinions about which doctors put their patients first and which doctors favor insurance companies. We can help you avoid mistakes when choosing a doctor.
Why Your Treating Doctor is Important in a Workers’ Comp Case. Your Treating Doctor will make many critical decisions about your Workers’ Compensation benefits including:
- Your medical treatments
- Needed tests
- Referral to specialists
- Your ability to return to work or light duty
- Permanent work restrictions
- Your impairment rating
- Your extent of injury
Get Help Before Choosing a Doctor
Your Treating Doctor Should Have Workers’ Comp Experience. Your Treating Doctor should have experience with Workers’ Compensation laws and rules. Choosing a doctor unfamiliar with Workers’ Compensation can make mistakes that harm your Workers’ Compensation claim. For example, (1) your weekly Compensation checks will not start until your doctor sends the proper State form to the insurance company stating that you are unable to work, (2) certain tests and treatments must be approved in advance or the insurance company will not pay for them, (3) reports must be submitted to continue your weekly Compensation checks, and (4) impairment ratings must be disputed within seven days of receiving it.
Warning Signs that a Doctor may have a Conflict of Interest. Beware of choosing a doctor who tells you that they need to release you to light duty because the insurance company expects it. Watch for doctors who express concern over how the insurance company may view their decisions. A good Treating Doctor will do what is medically right for you without regard to what insurance companies want him to do. Look out for reluctance to prescribe medications, physical therapy, and diagnostic tests such as MRI’s or CT scans. If the insurance company delays approval of medical treatment or denies medical treatment, your Treating Doctor should immediately take appropriate steps to fight for approval. Doctors should submit disputes through a Medical Dispute Resolution. We can help your doctor with this process and we can help you.
Beware of Company Doctors and Insurance Doctors. Companies are in business to make money and to protect their interests. From my experience, employer and insurance company doctors typically order fewer diagnostic tests, provide less treatment, fail to document workers’ complaints to all parts of their body, return workers back to work prematurely, and are more likely to say that an injury is pre-existing. Call Abbott & Associates L.L.C. today at 1-888-434-COMP to see if we can help you choose a right doctor for your workers compensation claim.