Pursuant to the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act, employers must provide and pay for medical care to relieve and cure an injured worker from the effects of an industrial injury or disease. However, the right of selection of a physician to provide care to an injured worker is given, initially, to the employer. Most employers throughout the state are required to have a list of four doctors in the area, if available, that can provide care and treatment. This list, called a Designated Providers List, must be provided to the injured worker by the employer upon first notice to the employer of the injury. The right to select a physician gives the employer an advent age in controlling the course of any claim. While the injured worker must select one of the providers from the list, there are a few avenues for the injured worker to change providers.
One such method to change providers is to switch to another provider on the Designated Providers List. This must be done within the first 90 days of the claim opening. This is not a recommended method as it still leaves the injured worker to treat with a doctor selected, for obvious reasons, by the employer.
Another method for the injured worker to seek to have care changed to another provider is by submitting a request for a change of care to a specific doctor on the proper form. Once the form is submitted, the insurance carrier has twenty days to reject the proposed change. If the insurance carrier fails to deny such change by the 20th day, the requested provider becomes the new treating doctor. It is highly recommended that this method be utilized as quickly as possible to assure an injured work receives the very best care from the very beginning.
The Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act also provides for a change of provider if good cause is shown before the Director of Division of Workers’ Compensation or an Administrative Law Judge of the Office of Administrative Courts upon an evidentiary hearing. If it can be shown that the provider designated by the insurance carrier is not providing appropriate care a provider selected by the injured worker can be authorized to provide care and such will be paid for 100% by the insurance carrier.
At Anderson & Lopez, we know how important it is to have the right doctors treating you if you sustained an injury at work. If you feel you are not getting proper care, call us at Anderson & Lopez and let us work to get you the care you deserve.