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Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Right to Choose Your Doctor

Selecting your own treating physician in a workers’ compensation claim may soon become permitted nationally. A movement in Iowa has now sparked national interest to permit employees the right to choose their medical provider.

Coupled with the effort for employees to seek
freedom of choice “to form unions and bargain for a better life” is the effort to seek freedom to choice a medical provider in a work-related accident or occupational illness.

The effort has been supported by an interest group formed on
Facebook, “Iowians for Workers Choice of Doctor.” “Because life is about more than just work...In Iowa, if you are injured on the job, employers can decide which doctor treats you. You choose what foods you eat and which exercises you do, but they can choose who is best to care for you.”

Iowa Senate Bill 1119 would allow injured workers to designate their choice of physician. “Too much has been made of how much this is going to cost a company and not enough on how this affects an individual and their personal lives,” said Democratic Sen. Bill Dotzler of Waterloo.

The vast majority of states allow workers the freedom to choose their own treating physicians. Studies have shown that employees who have the right to select their own physician have more confidence in their medical care and have a more successful recovery.

The delivery of medical services continues to be a major problem in the national network of workers’ compensation systems now in place since 1911. Federal initiatives for a national healthcare system are under consideration that
would incorporate the entire workers’ compensation system’s medical delivery system.

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