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What if you don’t agree with a treatment plan for a work injury?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

The North Carolina workers’ compensation insurance program will cover the cost of necessary medical care when a worker gets hurt on the job. Unlike private health insurance, workers’ compensation coverage will cover the costs without any patient responsibilities, like co-pays and prescription fees. 

Generally, workers should not have to pay anything for the treatment of a work injury. Whether they need surgery, physical therapy or medication, workers’ compensation should cover 100% of their expenses. They could also potentially qualify for disability benefits if they need to take time off of work to heal. 

Sometimes, workers do not agree with the treatment plan suggested by the doctor managing their care. What happens in that situation?

You may need to request a second opinion

You can pick your own doctor for your care if the Industrial Commission approves the request or see a physician recommended by your employer. Either way, no one medical doctor has infallible medical knowledge.

There are gaps in any doctor’s expertise and hands-on work experience. If you believe that the treatment recommended by the doctor overseeing your care would not benefit you, you will need to follow the correct protocol. You can formally request a second opinion about the treatment you need to recover. 

You should not simply refuse treatment. If you do not comply with medical orders, you could potentially compromise your right to benefits in the future. The insurance company could claim that your failure to follow the doctor’s orders is really why you can’t work or need additional care, not the original injury. 

You have every right to disagree with a treatment plan suggested by a doctor, but it is important that you respond appropriately during that disagreement. Knowing your rights while receiving workers’ compensation can help you avoid claim-ending mistakes.

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