Doctor shopping is when an injured employee goes from doctor to doctor looking for a different opinion. It is frowned upon in Workers Compensation. If the Board finds you have been doctor shopping, the penalty is that the new doctor’s medical opinion will not be considered by the Board and, generally, that means he isn’t going to get paid either. It can ruin your case.
An injured employee is entitled to one (1) change of physician as a matter of right but s/he must inform the insurance company of the change within fourteen days of making the change. Give the notice in writing and keep a copy for yourself. It is best if you fax the notice to the insurance company so you can have a fax confirmation sheet proving the insurance company received the fax.
It is not considered a change of physician if one physician refers you to another. Make sure they referral is in writing. You may need to prove later a referral was made. There are many other exceptions:
- If the Employer sent you to the first physician you saw and you subsequently pick a physician, that does not constitute a change.
- If you are seen at a hospital or emergency care facility, that is not a change.
- If you see another doctor in the same clinic as your doctor, that is not a change.
- If you move more than 50 miles away from your doctor, you can pick another one.
- If your doctor dies or moves away, you can pick another doctor.
- If your doctor refuses to treat you, you can pick another doctor.
Keenan Powell has practiced Workers Compensation law in the State of Alaska for more than 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans for the past 9 years handling hundreds of cases. A sample of verdicts she has obtained for Employees is found at http://www.keenanpowell.com/settlements_wc.html.
There is absolutely no fee for a consultation, all consultations are free. If you want to set up a meeting, use the contact form on this website or call: 907 258 7663.