When a person is injured at work, they have two choices, they can either (a) accept the medical services offered or recommended by the employer or carrier, or (b) they can select their own medical provider. This establishes a chain of treatment which is important for referrals to specialists and subspecialists.
In a general case, when a worker is injured on the job, there may be immediate first aid at the workplace, and then emergency treatment at a hospital or clinic. If specialized treatment is needed, the ER or clinic may refer the injured worker to a specialist. From there, the specialist may order diagnostic testing or provide other services.
The chain of treatment discussed above does not always play out this way. With so many types of jobs and industry in Mississippi, some injured workers may not be near a hospital or may be sent to a local clinic like MEA or FastPace.
The important thing to remember is that once the initial first aid or trip to the ER has run its course, an injured worker can select what doctor or specialist or subspecialist they choose, as long as that treater/provider will accept workers’ compensation patients. If an injured worker does not make a selection in writing, whoever is treating that worker will become his/her choice of physician after 6 months or when that physician performs some type of surgical procedure. The injured worker may also accept the employer’s recommendation in writing.
If you have been hurt on the job, please contact an experienced Mississippi workers’ compensation lawyer so you can inform yourself about the laws and rules that impact your treatment and treatment options. Employer/Carriers do not always explain the choice of physician rules and options to injured workers. Call me if you have any questions. We don’t get paid unless you do too.