What do the workers’ comp rules say about employee’s flexibility to choose a psychiatrist? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

What do the workers’ comp rules say about employee’s flexibility to choose a psychiatrist?

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BY RALPH A. PETERSON and JOHN F. WINDHAM

Q. An injured employee has requested a change of psychiatrist under Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Act. He never visited the originally assigned treating psychiatrist. Must we give the employee a choice of three other psychiatrists?

A. Under Florida’s current workers’ compensation system, a claimant is allowed to make one change in his treating physician during the course of treatment for any one accident. There is no longer a necessity to provide a claimant with a choice of three physicians.

Also, remember that, to be entitled to a change in physician, the claimant must first receive treatment from the initially authorized physician.

So in the situation you have described, the employee is not entitled to a one-time change in treating physician until the employee receives treatment from the psychiatrist authorized by the employer/carrier. Subsequently, if the employee chooses to seek a change, the claimant will not be entitled to select from a list of three, but will need to change to a single assigned psychiatrist.

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