In many cases, work accident victims must rely on a medical provider network (MPN) to treat their occupational injuries. The doctors who are included in a medical provider network are usually trained in work injury treatment, and MPNs often include multiple specialists as well. MPNs are established by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company and must be approved by the state workers’ compensation board.
How Do I Know Who is in My Employer’s Medical Provider Network?
Following an on-the-job injury, your employer must provide you with information about the company’s medical provider network as soon as possible. Your employer may provide their MPN list (along with information about each doctor) along with your workers’ compensation claims forms. Your employer should also help you set up an initial appointment with an MPN doctor and provide guidance throughout your treatment.
Medical Provider Networks vs. Health Care Organizations
In addition to medical provider networks, the California state workers’ compensation system includes health care organizations (HCO). Health care organizations are similar to medical provider networks — they are both groups of medical professionals that provide treatment to work injury victims. HCOs differ from MPNs because they are chosen by the California Division of Workers’ Compensation, rather than by employers and their insurance providers.
Can My Own Doctor Treat My Work Injuries?
Unless you predesignate your own doctor, you will need to use your employer’s medical provider network to treat your work injuries. Predesignation involves choosing a doctor before you are injured (this may be done upon hiring). To predesignate a doctor, employees must submit a written predesignation notice, and the chosen provider must agree to treat any future work injuries.
If you select a doctor from your employer’s medical provider network, you may be able to choose a different provider. However, the new doctor you choose must also be in your employer’s MPN.If you were injured on the job, complete our contact form or call (818) 946-0608 to schedule a free consultation with our legal team.