When you visit the doctor to receive treatment for a workplace injury, you will want to take a few steps to help you get workers’ compensation benefits. For most workers, receiving appropriate and reimbursed medical treatment is one of the most valuable parts of the workers’ comp system.
- Tell Your Doctor It’s a Workplace Injury
Whether you visit the emergency room or make an appointment with your primary care provider, tell the doctor that you were injured at work. Health care providers need to know that you have a workplace injury because it affects their diagnosis and treatment procedures and because it affects how they bill for services.
In Minnesota, the workers’ compensation laws provide specific “treatment parameters” for various types of injuries. The parameters have specific diagnosis requirements and they explain which treatments will be allowed. Your doctor needs to know that you were injured at work so that he or she can follow the parameters and submit documentation to the insurer, such as a Report of Work Ability.
When you receive medical treatment or supplies for a work injury, your health care providers will bill the workers’ compensation insurer instead of you. If you know the name of the insurer, provide them with contact information. If treatments erroneously get billed to you, you need to contact the doctor’s office to correct the error. If your benefits claim is initially denied, you can pay for treatments and then seek reimbursement from the insurer.
- Be Honest with Your Doctor
To recommend appropriate treatments and medical restrictions, your doctor needs to know what really happened at work. Err on the side of giving him or her too much information. Even minor symptoms or injuries could grow into something worse, and if you do not tell your doctor about them he may not know. If he asks questions about your daily activities, be honest about how many times you do certain tasks and how you perform them.
If your doctor recommends that you take medical leave or gives you medical restrictions, ask for clarification. Find out when he projects that you could return to work. Ask which activities you should avoid and which you can perform occasionally. Make sure your doctor’s note reflects the restrictions accurately so that your employer will be informed when you pass on the note. Sometimes this note is called a Report of Work Ability form.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.