After sustaining an injury at the workplace, you may want to go to your personal doctor for medical treatment. Naturally, people feel comfortable going to a doctor they know and trust. Unfortunately, you might be in for a nasty surprise if you try to get your medical bills covered by Georgia’s workers’ compensation law if your personal doctor treats you. Depending on the doctor you go to for treatment, your claim could be denied.
The problem, according to Payscale, is that for a worker to receive workers’ compensation, the doctor who treats you should be a medical provider that is part of the employer’s insurance network. To have your medical bills covered, you should make sure that the doctor you see is someone the insurance network of your employer recommends. Sometimes a worker’s personal doctor is also part of an employer’s insurance network, so there is no problem for the worker in this case.
Per FindLaw, employers are entitled under Georgia law to post information that specifies acceptable doctors for you to choose from. If your personal doctor is not part of the employer’s insurance network, you will have to pick a physician from your employer's selection. Your employer may create a panel of eligible doctors or direct you to a managed care organization that can set you up with an eligible physician. However, state law allows you to change your doctor once under either of these scenarios without the consent of your employer, provided the new choice is still an eligible doctor.
If you want to use a doctor that is not authorized by your employer, you might still have a chance of picking your preferred doctor by filing a request with the State Board of Workers' Compensation. Keep in mind that you will have to demonstrate that there is good reason for you to want this option. Should your employer completely fail to post any list of authorized health care providers or if your employer does not authorize you to pick a specified provider, you can seek treatment with your own personal doctor and receive compensation.