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What does it mean to predesignate your personal doctor?

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

Suffering an injury at your workplace can leave you with serious health problems that you may only want to address with your personal doctor. Fortunately, you can select your preferred physician to treat you under state workers’ compensation coverage if you have already predesignated your doctor.

According to California guidelines, you predesignate a doctor by notifying your employer with a written document that includes the name and address of your physician. However, you must possess health coverage that pays for non-work-related medical issues by the date you sustain a work injury. There are other requirements worth noting.

Who you can predesignate

California will allow you to select a doctor of medicine or a doctor of osteopathy, provided that your physician has previously treated you and possesses your medical records. The state does not permit predesignation of other doctors such as a chiropractor.

Selecting a medical group

It is possible to predesignate a medical group, provided it consists of doctors of medicine or osteopathy. The group should provide primary care as well as care in other medical areas. Finally, your medical group should mostly handle health conditions that do not result from work injuries.

Seek permission from your doctor

Whoever you want to predesignate must give their permission first. You may supply a form that bears your doctor’s signature or someone who works for your doctor or medical group. As an alternative, you could use another qualifying document as evidence.

Predesignation can help you seek workers’ comp coverage for visits to a doctor you feel comfortable with. If your employer or the insurer for your employer doubts the validity of your selection, you may need to gather documents to show you have completed the steps for predesignation.