Choosing a Doctor After a Work-Related Injury in Alaska

patient shaking doctor's hand medical assistant in backgroundAny time you suffer an injury and seek medical treatment, it’s natural to want to visit a doctor or other provider who makes you feel comfortable and well cared for. A patient’s relationship with his doctor can be an integral part of the recovery process, and that fact doesn’t change simply because the injury is suffered at work. Injured employees do, however, typically use workers’ compensation benefits to pay for this care, and this means they do have to proceed within the system’s guidelines.

Alaska Allows Workers to Choose Their Own Doctors

The state of Alaska gives injured workers the freedom to seek care from a doctor of their own choice, as long as that provider is licensed in the state. It is possible to be treated by any licensed medical doctor, surgeon, chiropractor, osteopath, dentist, or optometrist. Simply make your provider aware that the injury is work-related and will be part of a workers’ compensation claim.

Changing Doctors Could Affect Your Work Injury Benefits

For some workers, this will be an easy choice. They may already have an established relationship with a provider they know and trust. For others, though, finding the right doctor may take more time. It can be the case that after seeing one doctor, the injured worker is not happy with the care and wishes to change doctors. It is possible to change providers one time with no effect on the workers’ compensation benefits. After that, however, workers must first inform the insurance company that they wish to make a change. Further changes in providers without prior notification could result in the insurance company refusing to pay the medical bills.

It is important to note that if your doctor refers you to a specialist, that referred care does not count as a change of doctor. This would be covered under the workers’ compensation benefits.

An Attorney Can Help You Get the Medical Care You Need

Recovering after a work injury can be a painful and challenging process—physically, emotionally, and financially. Finding the right doctor and obtaining the proper care will have a significant impact on the injured worker and his family as they try to move forward. At The Law Office of Ben Crittenden, attorney Ben Crittenden has helped many Alaska workers ensure they both receive effective treatment and obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Call him in his Anchorage office today or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page to get in touch with Ben directly and find out more about how he may be able to help.

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