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Can injured workers go to a doctor of their choice?

Workplace accidents are never anticipated, and along with physical consequences, mounting medical bills could add to the trauma. Many Iowa workers find comfort in knowing that the workers’ compensation system will have their backs if they suffer work-related injuries. Employees need to be familiar with the claims process and the different procedures to ensure they receive comprehensive benefits.

Choice of medical care provider

Injured workers often question their right to choose the doctor to treat their work-related injuries. However, employers or their insurers have the right to name the doctor who would treat their employees. The only time injured workers may choose a doctor is in an emergency, and only if the injured worker cannot reach the insurer or employer.

Employees who prefer to use their own physicians may only do so with their employers’ consent or permission of the insurance carrier. If such requests are declined, the worker may petition for alternate medical care through the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Can workers claim reimbursement of traveling costs?

The employer must pay the medical bills of injured workers. Employees who need to travel to medical professionals like physicians and therapists to treat workplace injuries may seek reimbursement for necessary and reasonable traveling expenses.

Can workers claim lost wages for time off for medical appointments?

After some injuries, workers can return to work but continue therapy or other medical treatment. When this happens, employers might have to regard those times away from work as paid hours.

The Iowa workers’ compensation insurance system is a no-fault program that pays benefits regardless of who was at fault. In cases where injured workers filed complaints or disputes related to unreasonable fees charged for the treatment, the medical providers may not order the injured worker to settle the medical bills during the dispute proceedings.