Recently, I have received several questions regarding the new “choice of physician” rule in workers’ compensation cases in Colorado. Many of my workers’ compensation clients have asked me if this means they can choose any doctor they like. The simple answer to that is: maybe. It is true that for work related injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2008, the employer or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, in most cases, must provide a written list of at least two (2) different doctor or facilities where the injured worker may receive care. This written list must be provided to the injured worker within seven (7) business days from the date the injured worker provides notice of the injury to his or her employer. If the injured worker is not provided with this written list, the injured worker most likely will be able to choose any medical provider he or she may want to provide treatment for the work-related injury. If the injured worker is provided with the written list, the injured worker may still request a change to the other doctor or facility provided in the list as long as this one time change of physician request is made within ninety (90) days of the date of injury and prior to being placed at maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is just another example of why it is critical to report a work injury to the employer immediately and preferably in writing.
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