The workers’ compensation system in Illinois aims to support employees who suffer injuries at work. A crucial aspect of this system is the injured worker’s ability to seek treatment, which is governed by rules that balance employee rights with the interests of employers and their insurance carriers.
Understanding these rules is essential for effectively navigating the workers’ compensation claim process and ensuring injured workers make informed decisions about their medical care.
Right to choose a provider
One of the critical rights afforded to injured workers in Illinois is the choice of healthcare provider. This empowers employees to seek treatment from trusted medical professionals rather than being limited to a doctor selected by their employer.
Choosing a medical provider
In Illinois, injured workers have the right to choose their medical providers under the workers’ compensation system. This includes selecting two medical providers of their choice, known as the two-choice rule. The treatment must be deemed reasonable and necessary for the work-related injury.
Understanding the Preferred Provider Program
The rules for selecting a medical provider can vary if an employer participates in a Preferred Provider Program (PPP). Choosing a doctor within the PPP network is one of the employee’s two choices. Employees should be aware of their employer’s PPP participation, as it influences their options for medical treatment under workers’ compensation.
Navigating insurance requirements
While employees have the right to choose their medical providers, the employer’s insurance company may require an independent medical examination (IME) to confirm the injury’s nature and the necessity of the proposed treatment. This examination doesn’t replace the employee’s choice of provider but serves as a tool for the insurance company to assess the claim.
Injured workers in Illinois are supported by a workers’ compensation system that respects their right to choose their medical treatment while aiming to ensure that it is appropriate and necessary for their injuries. Employees can better manage their recovery and return to work by understanding their rights and the system’s requirements. With that said, seeking legal guidance in these matters may benefit injured workers, as the operations of the system are not always straightforward.The post Do I have to go to a company doctor for an on-the-job injury? first appeared on Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil, LLC.