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Receiving medical care under workers' compensation

Workers in Louisiana who are covered by workers' compensation may have questions about medical services they can receive if they become injured. They are entitled to choose their own physician, but there are certain rules that must be followed if changing doctors, or when the cost of treatment reaches a certain amount. Although a worker can choose the physician they see for treatment, the employer can also request that the worker be examined by a physician that the employer chooses. If the worker does not comply with the request, workers' compensation payments may be suspended. Permission from the employer or insurance company is also required when a worker wishes to switch from one doctor to another, if the new doctor is in the same field of specialty as the original doctor. Switching from one specialty to another is allowed without permission.

If a disagreement should arise between the doctor and the employer about the worker's medical condition, an independent medical exam can be requested by the worker. This is done by filling out Form LWC-WC 105 and sending it to the Office of Workers' Compensation Administration.

Those who are receiving medical treatment that is covered by workers' compensation often still receive bills for medical services rendered. They should be sent to the employer or the insurance company. When medical treatment reaches a cost of $750, permission from the employer or insurance carrier must be granted for continuing treatment. This request cannot be denied without probable cause. Any treatment above $750 that is performed under emergency conditions is excluded from the permission requirement.

With few exceptions, all employers in Louisiana are required to carry workers' compensation insurance. When someone is injured on the job, he or she may find the process of filing a workers' compensation claim to be daunting. Employers may challenge a worker's claim. An attorney can help a client to file a claim by ensuring that all forms are filled out fully and correctly and can provide guidance throughout the process.

Source: Louisiana Workforce Commission., "Frequently Asked Questions From Injured Workers About Medical Services", October 19, 2014

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