When injured at work, Iowa’s employers and their insurance companies get to choose the treating doctors. You, the injured worker have no choice or say in the matter. They pick, you show up, you cooperate, or you get no care. It’s that straightforward.
Have you ever thought that one through? Who are these doctors and why were they chosen?
In workers’ compensation many doctors are good, and many are terrible. So why would an insurance company continue to choose a bad doctor?
Because that bad doctor will say whatever the insurance adjuster wants and they want doctors to say whatever saves them money. You see the choices have nothing to do with what is good for you. The Iowa policy on who gets to choose the company doctor is about encouraging lousy doctors to be able to practice in rural Iowa.
Bad doctors can’t get patients to walk in the door without someone sending them. Patients are people. They are consumers. And consumers demand good doctors and don’t go back to bad doctors. Consumers talk about who is good and who is bad and so bad doctors need that constant referral source of injured patients.
Where do bad doctors go to get new patients?
Work comp is a steady pool of patients. Injured workers are one of those referral pools. The pool keeps filling up with injuries from the workplace. Injured workers are a good way to fill up a day’s appointment calendar with a captured pool of patients who the doctor really doesn’t have to worry about impressing with his or her bedside manner. That’s because you don’t have any say in being there.
Now get a load of this. It’s an idea I doubt you’ve ever gave much thought to.
If you need surgery would you be more comfortable with a doctor you picked or one someone trying to save money picked for you? I'm not but that is the system we have and we have to make the best of it. There are instances where the workers' compensation insurance adjuster actually listens to the lawyer and allows a referral. But the chances of that happening depend on documenting the issues. You need to know how to work your case the right way. Just getting mad is not the right way to go about a change in care. Call us if we can help.
Next up, how does workers’ compensation medical care intersect with medical malpractice law? And, if you’re seriously injured will any lawyer ever take your medical negligence case against the company physician? You may be surprised, but not in a good way.
Now read the blogs from Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; then consider the impact of medical malpractice and how you have no say in who treats you after they commit malpractice your right to recovery has been destroyed and even if you can recover the amount will never cover your expenses. [This will be updated at week's end.]