When you suffer an injury or illness in the workplace, you may not be able to be treated by your own doctor. Here in Ohio, your first visit can be to your own physician. However, if you are seeking workers’ compensation, you’ll need to be treated by a physician who is certified by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). That doctor will be listed as your physician of record (POR).
Your employer may recommend a particular doctor to you. However, you’re under no obligation to see them. You can choose any BWC-certified doctor. If you don’t, your medical expenses won’t be covered by workers’ comp.
When choosing a workers’ comp doctor, it’s essential to do some research — just as you would when choosing any doctor. A Google search should tell you how long they’ve been practicing, what their specialties are and where they went to school. You may be able to find some reviews as well, although those aren’t always indicative of how qualified a doctor is.
When you first visit your workers’ comp doctor, they’ll evaluate you and document your injuries or illness. They’ll also get your medical history. They’ll find out what caused the injury or illness and determine whether you need to take time off of work.
A BWC-certified doctor isn’t there to represent your employer or the BWC. They’re certified because they have experience treating workers’ comp-related injuries and illnesses and how to deal with the claims process. Therefore, they may actually be more qualified to treat you than your own doctor.
If you’re having difficulty getting the workers’ comp benefits you need and deserve, it may be wise to seek legal guidance. Experienced workers’ comp attorneys know how the system works and can help protect your rights and make your case.