Workers injured on the job in Iowa are typically covered by their employer’s insurance provider to receive paid medical treatment. After filing a claim, however, many workers are surprised to learn that their own doctor may not be an approved medical treatment provider by the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Why It Is So Important To Get Treatment By An Approved Provider
Under terms of the state’s labor laws, an employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance covering employees who suffer a work-related injury or diagnosed disability. Benefits include paid medical treatment until the worker has reached what is referred to as maximum medical recovery (MMR), which may require days, weeks or even years of treatment and physical therapy. In return for receiving paid medical and wage benefits, the injured worker forfeits the right to sue the employer for additional damages, except in cases of gross criminal negligence that caused the injury or disability.
Under provisions of the law, doctors and/or medical providers must receive approval as a certified medical provider. This means that doctors providing treatment and ongoing care recognize that they are responsible for signing off on a worker’s maximum medical recovery, meaning the worker can return to the workplace in full or limited capacity.
Changing Doctors Won’t Always Help
It is not uncommon for an injured worker to want a second opinion or to seek treatment from a different doctor, particularly if feeling pressured into returning to work before fully recovered. §85.27 of the Iowa Administrative Code covering workers’ compensation benefits reads, “If the employer, or insurance carrier, does not allow alternate care, the employee (through appropriate proceedings) may apply to the workers’ compensation commissioner for alternate medical care.”
It is important to remember that the doctors approved by the Division of Workers’ Compensation may be excellent doctors, but they ultimately work for the workers’ comp insurance companies, which are paid policy premiums by employers.
If you have questions about the quality of care you are receiving from an approved physician or if you are being required to return to work before you feel ready, you have the right to appeal. Talk to an attorney at Soper Leddin Law Firm, P.C., in Davenport. We are recognized as one of the leading workers’ compensation firms serving injured workers throughout southeastern Iowa.
Free Consultation With An Experienced Iowa Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Call our offices in Davenport toll free at 563-441-1616 or our local phone number at 563-441-1616 to schedule a free consultation. You can also send an email with a brief description of your workers’ compensation question about your medical care.