The evaluation and opinion of a treating physician is a priority and necessary to obtain the benefits that the employee deserves in the workers’ compensation process. When choosing a doctor, it is essential to be clear that they will treat the injuries of the affected person and defend their name in the case of workers’ compensation. The relationship that the patient will establish with their treating physician will be long-term since they will not only examine them once but will be the one who evaluates and supervises the recovery.
The doctor’s role is to be the person who manages the medical records, understands the evolution of the injuries, the treatment needs, the limitations caused by the accident or injury, and identifies the probability of full recovery or permanent sequelae. Additionally, the physician will make important decisions that will affect recovery and benefits for the employee. The diagnosis that he determines will be used to calculate workers’ compensation benefits. Benefits may include physical therapies or medications.
Another role of the treating physician is to be the link between the patient’s needs and the referral to see a specialist physician. This situation is very common; therefore, it is necessary to consider that the GP should be the one who approves any referral to a specialist.
According to the results diagnosed in conjunction with the medical team, the treating doctor must decide the employee’s work restrictions. These restrictions may include absences from work to rest or recover and to receive partial salary benefits (called temporary disability benefits). The doctor will also be the one who determines when the patient can return to work without fear of affecting the injury or regressing in the recovery process. Likewise, once the patient achieves a stable health condition and reaches the maximum medical improvement or no longer improves, the doctor will determine the level of limitations or permanent disability.
Your doctor’s findings and evidence will be used to calculate how much you will receive for permanent disability benefits. To generate fewer disputes with the insurance company, it is vital that all medical documentation is consistent with your injury, treatment, and recovery. In some cases, the doctor is asked to testify.