Who picks your doctor in a Florida workers’ compensation case?

In Florida, it’s the insurance company — not the patient — that picks someone’s treating physician following a workplace injury.

Once you’ve reported your injury and obtained emergency medical care (if needed), your employer’s insurer will give you the name of the physician that you’re expected to see. If you require a specialist’s care, the specialist must also be authorized by the insurer.

What happens if you don’t like the doctor you’re given?

It can be difficult to place your health in the hands of someone you don’t know and may not really trust. If you feel like they don’t have your best interests at heart, you may want to change doctors.

Under the rules in this state, you can make a written request to change your physician one time. The insurer is required to respond within five days of your request with a new selection. (If they do not, you then have the right to pick your own doctor and the treatment must still be covered by workers’ comp.)

Changing doctors is a bit risky when you are on workers’ comp. You may be suspected of “doctor shopping” because your injuries aren’t really serious, or the second doctor could be as bad or worse than the first one. Plus, you are only entitled to one change of physician, which means you would then be stuck with the second doctor for the duration of your treatment.

What can you do if you think your care is inadequate?

Let’s face it: Insurance companies have a lot of power when it comes to workers’ comp claims in Florida. If you think that you are being mistreated by your medical provider or your claim isn’t being handled fairly, it may be time to seek a legal opinion.

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