Although some employers might suggest that an injured worker has to go to a doctor who is chosen by the employer’s insurance company, an injured employee in fact has the right to choose his or her own doctor. The person’s doctor need only be properly licensed to practice medicine in Oregon.
This is an extremely important right for a worker to exercise. After all, a doctor’s opinion is going to be given a lot of weight, especially when it comes to deciding whether a worker is able to return to work. Once a person is cleared to return to work by his or her doctor, an employer and the insurance company has a good argument that workers’ compensation benefits should stop.
Without regard to whether a Portland worker chooses to go to his or her own doctor or use the medical services provided by his or her employer, workers’ compensation benefits must cover the doctor’s bills. The only argument an employer might have is that the doctor’s medical bills were either not necessary or were excessive.
In the event that an insurance company does refuse to pay for a worker’s doctor fee, then a worker will have a right to appeal that decision by asking for a further hearing. However, it is important for the worker to remember that he or she only has 60 days to exercise that right. Otherwise, the denial of the claim will stand permanently.
Workers have the right to choose their own doctors following an injury and should carefully consider doing so. A person should weigh his or her options carefully with the help of an experienced family law attorney.