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Why Can’t I Choose My Own Doctor?

By Burg Simpson

January 7, 2015   Colorado Blog, Colorado Workers' Compensation

In our last post, I talked about Independent Medical Exams, or IMEs, and some of the challenges that come with having to use a doctor decided on for you by the insurance company. One of the most common frustrations I hear from clients is “Why Can’t I Choose My Own Doctor”? Sometimes it’s because the insurance doctor is too far away, sometimes it’s because the doctor won’t respond to my client’s calls or emails, and sometimes it’s just because my client thinks the doctor is a jerk. Whatever the reason, there are only very rare and limited cases where the insurance company will let you pick a doctor.

In Colorado, the insurance company usually has to offer you at least two choices of doctors to visit for your treatment. You have the right to change doctors in the FIRST 90 DAYS but only to the other doctor on their list of approved physicians. These must also be doctors from different practices or clinic groups. You couldn’t have a choice between two different doctors that work for Health One, but you could have a choice between a doctor from Health One and another doctor from Concentra, for instance.

For the insurance company, it’s very important that they get to choose the doctor you will see. It means that they know you are going to someone who knows the needs of the insurance company and can give you predictable, and more importantly, low-cost medical care. Oftentimes these doctors are very conservative with their treatment plan and will avoid any tests or expensive treatment solutions if they can. Unfortunately for the injured worker, this usually means that he or she may not be getting the level of treatment that he or she is used to. If you do want to contest your employer’s choice of physician, it’s crucial that you have an attorney and make your request in the first 90 days of your claim. If not, changing your doctor is almost impossible.

As always, most Workers’ Compensation attorneys (myself included) will evaluate your case for free, all it takes is a call. If you have been hurt and want someone to fight for you, call me at 303-792-5595, or submit a request by clicking the button on the right side of the page to have someone from our office contact you.

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