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Can employee on workers’ comp who has already changed doctors now pick out a specialist?

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

BY RALPH A. PETERSON and JOHN F. WINDHAM

Q. One of our employees who is receiving workers’ compensation benefits and receiving treatment for a work-related accident already changed his primary care doctor once. He now wants to change to an orthopedic physician. Is he entitled to another physician in a different medical specialty?

A. The Florida courts have held that Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Act is clear: Claimants are entitled to only one change of physician while being treated for any one accident. The statute does not entitle a claimant to a one-time change per specialty.

Here, the employee has already availed himself of his right to a change in physician when he obtained a change in his primary care doctor, so his request for a change of orthopedic physician can be disapproved.

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