Medical Rights For Injured WorkersAccording to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, employers have to provide employees with coverage for their work-related injuries. The Act also specifies employees have the right to choose their own doctor for their medical treatments.
That way, they can rest easy knowing that they can choose one they are comfortable with and has their best interests at heart. In contrast, a doctor who has an ongoing relationship with an employer or insurance agency can lead to a conflict of interest.
The Two Doctor RuleUnfortunately, a few employers do try to force injured employees to receive medical care at 'company clinics' so as to reduce the compensation they need to pay. However, as per Illinois law, injured workers have the right to select two doctors for their care. This is called the Two Doctor Rule.
Here is an example to elucidate this further. Say you injured your back at work trying to lift a heavy load at work. You visit a family doctor who prescribed physical therapy as part of your treatment. When the treatment doesn't work as well as thought, you are sent to an orthopedic surgeon who orders an MRI and from the tests discovers you slipped a disc.
He then sends you to a pain management specialist, but when that doesn't work to alleviate your pain, you are recommended surgery. However, before that, you are sent to a cardiologist for clearance and also have to hire an anesthesiologist for the surgery.
According to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, all of these physicians will be considered a single physician choice. That's because they were recommended by the one you chose.
Employer Assigned PhysiciansIn some cases, employers may choose a doctor for employees who suffer from work-related injuries. However, they have to ensure that the initial medical exam is conducted at a reasonable location and at a time that is convenient for the employee.
Plus, the employer also has to pay all of the expenses pertaining to the visit. This includes the cost of the exam, the consultation, lost wages along with the meals and travel expenses of the employee. Additionally, the doctor he chooses also has to provide a copy of the exam report to them. The employee can go to the initial exam, but may change doctors for further medical treatments.