In Minnesota, employees have the right to choose the medical provider who will treat their injury. An exception exists where the employee accepts a physician furnished by their employer. In this case, the employee would be deemed to have “selected” the physician.
Generally, an employee is allowed to change their physician if they have reasonable grounds to do so. These include things like losing faith in the doctor, communication problems between the doctor and the patient, or no improvement in the condition of the injury. Patients are not allowed to change doctors for the purposes of litigation.
Minnesota law treats a change in medical provider differently if it occurs after 60 days. After that time, changes in medical provider may not be made in the following situations: 1) a significant reason for the request is to try to block reasonable treatment, 2) the purpose of the change is to develop litigation strategy rather than pursue treatment, 3) the provider sought lacks expertise to treat the injury, 4) the travel distance is unnecessary as the same care is available at a more reasonable location, 5) at the time of the request, the employee requires no further treatment, or 6) the request is not in the best interests of the employee and the employer.
Ultimately it is up to the courts to determine how these rules apply in each individual case. If you are facing a confusing workers’ compensation issue, give us a call. Our attorneys are experienced at handling this type of claim, and they can help you get the compensation that you need to move on with your life.