It is likely you have a close relationship with your family physician. You have seen them for years for routine checkups and the unexpected injury or illness. You trust them and believe they will provide you with the best care possible.
So, if you are injured at work, it is only natural that you want to see your family physician. But will you be disqualified from receiving workers’ compensation benefits for doing so?
Choice of physician
If you are injured on the job in New York and want to pursue workers’ compensation benefits, you can seek treatment from any board-authorized health care provider. You can find a board-authorized physician online or via a department phone number.
Your family physician may already be a board-authorized physician. If you see them, they should only treat you for injuries that fall under their area of specialty.
There is an exception for the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) program. If your employer is part of the PPO program, they will provide workers with a list of physicians they can see if they are injured at work. Your employer must notify employees in writing about the PPO.
You must initially see a physician on your employer’s PPO list if you are injured at work, and your employer is part of the PPO program. You can begin seeing your family physician or another doctor of your choice after 30 days have passed since you first sought treatment.
If you choose to see your own doctor after seeing a PPO physician for 30 days, you must give your employer written notification stating you have decided to leave the PPO network. A simple letter will suffice.
If you seek treatment from a physician who is not board-authorized or on your employer’s PPO list, it could jeopardize your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. So, it is important that you understand now who to see if you are injured at work so you can be prepared should the unexpected happen.