This is the third blog post in a series on getting medical treatment in a Georgia Workers’ Compensation case. If you have not read our first and second blog posts in this series, we think you would find it helpful to read those first.
Some Reasons You Might Not Change on the Panel of Physicians
Many times, an injured worker may need to change physicians but may not find a good choice for the injury among the six or more doctors listed on the employer’s panel of physicians. Often, an injured worker may need to see a particular type of specialist that is simply not on the employer’s panel. Other times, the injured worker may believe that he or she cannot get a fair shake from the “company doctors” on the panel of physicians. Finally, the injured worker may have already seen two doctors on the panel of physicians and still have problems that those doctors have not fixed
Motions to Change Doctors
It is important to understand that injured workers in Georgia have other ways of getting medical treatment other than just the panel of physicians or agreement with their employer on a doctor. If an injured worker needs to see a particular doctor or type of doctor and the employer will not agree, an injured worker can request a change of physician to a different doctor by filing a request under O.C.G.A. §34-9-200(b).
Rule 200 of the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation specifies how this request should be made. Basically, the injured worker or an attorney representing him or her can file a motion requesting a change of physician on a Form WC-200b or request a hearing seeking a change of physician by filing a Form WC-14. In either instance, evidence would need to be presented supporting why the change was needed. This evidence might include medical records from a doctor indicating that additional treatment was needed or that the injured worker needed to see a specialist. If a motion is filed, it might also include an affidavit from the injured worker. If a motion is filed or if a hearing takes place, an Administrative Law Judge at the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation will ultimately issue an award determining whether a change of physician should be granted.
Questions About Changing Doctors
At Perkins Studdard, we have three attorneys who specialize in representing injured workers in Georgia Workers’ Compensation cases. If you have a question about issues involved in your case and would like a free consultation, please call the phone number at the upper right or complete the “Need Help” form on this page.
In our final blog post in this series on obtaining medical treatment and changing doctors in workers’ compensation cases, we will discuss options for getting additional medical evaluations and second opinions.