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
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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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