A question that our experienced Virginia worker’s compensation attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman often receive from our clients who have been injured on the job is who they are required to receive medical treatment they require for their on the job injuries from in order for that treatment to be covered by the worker’s compensation coverage provided by their employer. Virginia worker’s compensation law provides that worker’s compensation must pay for all medical treatment required by the injured worker as a result of whatever injuries he or she sustained as a result of an on the job injury. The law also requires that all medical care for those injuries be overseen and ordered by a treating physician who is selected by the injured worker from among several options presented by the employer/its insurer.
The Treating Physician Selection Process
Virginia law provides that the injured worker’s employer must provide the injured worker with a panel of at least three physicians from whom the injured worker can then choose his or her treating physician. Whichever physician from the panel is chosen as the injured worker’s primary will then be in charge of the injured worker’s treatment from beginning to end. Although the employer/its carrier chooses the physicians on the panel, the worker has complete control over whom he or she chooses to be his or her treating physician.
Injured workers sometimes worry that, because the worker’s employer or the employer’s worker’s compensation insurer provides the worker with the panel of potential treating physicians, this means that those physicians will do whatever benefits the employer or its insurer. However, the system has a number of safeguards built into place to ensure the employer or its insurer do not interfere with the injured worker’s course of treatment or try to skimp on the medical care provider to the injured worker. Virginia law does this by putting all the power in the hands of the treating physician to decide what treatment the injured worker receives, thus preventing the employer/its carrier from trying to influence the injured worker’s course of treatment to save money.
Are These Physicians Truly Independent?
Many injured workers wonder whether the treating physician is truly independent given that the doctor is coming from a panel made up of doctors chosen by the employer/its insurer. Nevertheless, the Virginia worker’s compensation system has a number of safeguards built into it to ensure that workers have protections. An employer or its insurance carrier cannot object to treatment that is authorized by the treating physician. Instead, if the treating physician authorizes a certain course of medical treatment, whether by the treating physician or some other specialist whom the treating physician has authorized to treat the injured worker, the employer/its carrier cannot refuse to pay for that treatment nor can it condition such treatment on its pre-approval. It is the treating physician that has the ability to perform or authorize treatment and, if he or she does so, then the employer/its carrier are required to pay for that treatment, end of story. This removes the employer/its carrier from trying to somehow influence the course of treatment or its cost by giving them no say over either.
Contact the Experienced Virginia Worker’s Compensation Attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman
If you have suffered a workplace injury in Virginia, then worker’s compensation coverage exists to compensate you for the damages that you suffer as a result of those injuries. Our experienced Virginia worker’s compensation attorneys know how to ensure that your employer and/or its worker’s compensation carrier do not interfere in your treatment for an injury suffered in a workplace injury. If you have been injured in a workplace incident in Virginia, please contact Kalfus & Nachman today at (855) 880-8163 or through the form on this page to schedule a free consultation. Our experienced Virginia workers’ comp lawyers are here to help you.