Attention! Iowa’s Workers’ Compensation laws changed July 1, 2017. This article’s information may be out of date. Visit our Workers’ Compensation Page for more information.
If You Are Unhappy With the Doctor Picked by Your Employer, You Might Be Entitled to Different Medical Care
Iowa workers’ compensation law requires that an employer (or its insurance corporation) pay for any medical care made necessary by a work-related injury. In turn, Iowa law allows an employer, rather than the injured worker, to decide who will provide that medical care.
This is not, however, an unlimited right under Iowa law. An injured Iowa worker has a legal remedy if an employer offers treatment from an unqualified doctor or a doctor who provides inadequate care. If injured workers find themselves in situations where they are receiving inadequate medical care, their first step should be to communicate their dissatisfaction with the medical care to their employer (or its workers’ compensation insurance corporation) in writing.
If that does not result in a change in medical care, the injured worker’s next option is to file a petition with the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner.
Typically, written evidence of inadequate care from your employer-chosen doctor–such as a conflicting opinion from a different doctor–is necessary to get the Commissioner to rule that you are entitled to different medical care. It is usually necessary to consult with an experienced Iowa workers’ compensation attorney in order to successfully exercise your right to alternate medical care.
To find out other important rights that every injured worker has under Iowa workers’ compensation law, use the form on this page to download the entire Law Guide to Iowa Workers’ Compensation Claims.