How to Choose and Talk to Your Workers’ Compensation Doctor

October 14, 2020

When you’ve been injured at work it can be a stressful time. You worry about getting all the medical care you need without having to wait a long time and often feel stressed about when you can get back to work and back to normal in your day-to-day life. You also may be wondering how much of a choice you have when choosing your workers compensation doctor or surgeon.

As you go through the workers compensation process it’s key that you feel comfortable and confident about asking any questions you may have so that you receive accurate and helpful answers. Here are some common questions that often come up during the workers compensation process.

What Does Workers Compensation Cover?

If you’ve been hurt at work then you are probably wondering exactly what workers compensation will pay for. Generally, workers compensation will cover you for any medical costs – including short-term care, lost salary, and wages.

Workers compensation does not usually cover injuries that happened due to a fight or disagreement at work, emotional or psychological stress related to one’s personal life, or a specific medical condition one did not suffer while on the job. It’s also worth noting that the specifics of what is covered or not covered by workers compensation can vary state by state.

Can I Change My Workers Compensation Doctor?

The answer in some cases is yes. When you are injured at work your company is required to provide a choice between three workers compensation approved physicians. Once you perform your due diligence you can select the doctor which whom you wish to proceed with. It is possible to change your doctor post selection, however, this process must be approved by both your employer and insurance provider.

Note: In some cases you can lodge an appeal with your state’s worker compensation board if a request to change your doctor is denied, especially if you can demonstrate that you want a doctor who is more specialized in providing the treatment you require.

How Important is a Doctor to the Workers Compensation Process?

Your doctor is absolutely crucial during the workers compensation process. They not only will be treating your medical condition or injury: they  will also be making decisions that are legally binding on the compensation you receive, approval of your claim and insurance coverage.

It’s very important to have clear communication and rapport with your workers compensation doctor and to know that you can trust he or she and rely on their professionalism, honesty and attention to detail during the whole process.

What Do I Need to Keep in Mind When I Meet With My Workers Compensation Doctor?

The most important things to keep in mind when you meet with your workers compensation doctor is to pay attention to detail and tell your physician exactly what happened that caused your injury or issue; you must be as specific as possible about exactly where you were injured, and make sure your medical evaluation specifies exactly how your work injury debilitated you.

Keep in mind that what you say is not covered by your regular doctor/ patient confidentiality, since you are part of an ongoing process that also involves your insurance company and the state’s workers compensation board.

What’s the Best Way to Explain My Situation to the Doctor?

The best way to explain the injury you experienced is accurately and honestly. Do not exaggerate your pain or symptoms but at the same time do not downplay what you have suffered or try to be overly easygoing and tough.

The objective of your assessment and treatment is to aid in support and any compensation you are owed, assist you to get back to your original health, and ultimately get you back to work.

What Doctor Should I Visit for My Workers Compensation Claim in the St. Louis Area?

Dr. Mahesh Bagwe is a lower extremity specialist and a well respected physician at the Orthopedic Center of St. Louis. He has over a decade of experience and expertise working with workers compensation and occupational medicine including conducting independent medical examinations (IMEs) and doing disability ratings and depositions.

Dr. Bagwe knows how to make sure you can get the care you need and deserve. As a leading workers compensation doctors in St. Louis, Dr. Bagwe knows everything that needs to be done to make the whole process as stress-free as possible and ensure you are fully covered for all the treatment and recovery you require.

Feel free to reach out and contact us today.

Nondiscrimination Notice

Dr. Bagwe is an Orthopedic Surgeon in St. Louis, Missouri | As a world class lower extremity specialist Dr. Bagwe treats disorders of the knee, foot and ankle which cause acute or chronic pain. With several locations in the St. Louis metro area, we offer solutions for Arthritis, Sprains and strains, Bursitis and tendonitis, Fractures, sports related injuries, work related injuries, stress fracture, Cubital tunnel syndrome, Knee ligament tear (ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL), Meniscal (cartilage) tear, Heel spurs, Plantar fasciitis, Shin splints, Hammer toe and other toe disorders, Achilles tendon problems, Bunions, and more.

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