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Unless the employer or the employer's insurer has established a medical provider network, the employer has a right to control the treatment for at least the first 30 days from the date the injury is reported to the employer. After this 30-day period, the employee may be treated, at the employer's expense, by a physician of his or her choice at a facility of his or her choice within a reasonable geographic area.

However, if the employee has notified his or her employer in writing prior to the date of injury that he or she has a personal physician, the employee is entitled to be treated by that physician from the date of injury, if the employer provides either non-occupational group health coverage in a health care service plan, or non-occupational health coverage in a group health plan or a group health insurance policy (medical provider networks).

Employers shall post and keep posted in a conspicuous location frequented by employees, and where the notice may be easily read by employees during the hours of the workday, a notice that states the name of the current compensation insurance carrier of the employer. The notice shall be easily understandable. It shall be posted in both English and Spanish where there are Spanish-speaking employees. Some of the information required in the notice includes the following: How to get emergency medical treatment, the kinds of events, injuries, and illnesses covered by workers' compensation, the injured employee's right to receive medical care, the rights of the employee to select and change the treating physician, the rights of the employee to receive temporary disability indemnity, permanent disability indemnity, vocational rehabilitation services, and death benefits, as appropriate, and to whom injuries should be reported.

Failure of an employer to provide this notice may permit the employee to be treated by his or her personal physician with respect to an injury occurring during that failure. If it is shown that such failure resulted in a denail of medical care.

If the employer has a Medical Provider Network (MPN) in place, a complete MPN notification must be provided to the employee at the time of hire, at the time of injury or when the employee is being transferred into the MPN.

The complete written MPN employee notification requires information regarding the employees rights and obligations including his/her right to change doctors within the MPN after the initial visit with the Employer's choice of doctors.

In a decision entitled Knight v. United Parcel Service it was held that an employer is liable for self-procured medical treatment obtained by an injured employee outside of the employer's MPN, when the employer failed to give proper notice regarding its MPN at time of her injury, as required, which resulted in a delay in medical treatment, which in turn amounted to employer's neglect or refusal to provide reasonable medical treatment.

Call the Law Offices of Rene H. Pimentel at (951)788-2250 for a FREE consultation

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