It makes sense that you’d want to see your own doctor after a work injury. Even if it’s your own primary care physician, and not a specialist you’ve selected, you know that they have your history and know what you were like before you got hurt.
In California, there are rules stating who you can see to have treatment after a workplace injury. For emergency treatment, that will be anyone who you can get in to see at a hospital, urgent care or other location, because your health comes first. After that, you may need to go through your employer’s medical provider network, or MPN.
If you previously predesignated the medical group that you’d like to work with, then that should be who you are allowed to see. MPNs do need to be approved by the Division of Workers’ Compensation, which is something that you will need to keep in mind.
What do you do if there is a health care organization instead of MPN?
In the case that you agreed to an HCO when you first started at your job, you will need to first be treated in the HCO unless you already have a predesignation in place.
In the case that you have no MPN or HCO to worry about, you will be able to choose your primary treating physician. This is the case even if you didn’t predesignate a medical provider or medical group before your injury.
If your employer hasn’t offered you information or treatment, you can see your personal physician after your injury. Similarly, if your employer sends you for treatment and it is inadequate, then you can go to another physician of your choice.
What if you’re not sure who to see?
It can be hard to figure out who to see after a workplace injury, so consider speaking with your employer about their HCO or MPN. If they don’t have one and you’re still not sure where to seek treatment or feel that the treatment you’ve received was inadequate, you may want to take time to learn more about your rights as an injured worker.