Workers injured on the job must get medical care. The doctor will assess their injuries so compensation can be determined. But a DOL doctor goes the extra mile.
A Department of Labor (DOL) doctor understands the complications of the paperwork required for the claim. They will provide a clear and concise explanation of your injury. They will show that the injury was work-related.
A DOL doctor will also focus on getting you back to work. They will provide comprehensive care that promotes healing. They will oversee your progress until you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement.
There are several questions workers should ask DOL doctors before, during, and after the examination. The right questions will ensure you choose the right doctor. They will help the process run smoothly.
This article will cover those questions so you are prepared to move forward with your case.
Questions to Ask Your DOL Doctor
Before the Visit
Patients must research DOL doctors to determine if they will provide quality care. Part of that research will include interviewing the doctor directly. Here are some questions that should be included in the interview process:
What’s Your Background and Experience?
Background and experience are key factors to consider before you work with any medical professional. Find out where the DOL doctor went to school. Ask them how long they’ve been running their practice. Inquire about the types of injuries they have treated.
What Hospitals Are You Affiliated With?
Some patients may recover at home. Some may require hospital care. If your injuries are severe, and you feel you will need hospital care, find out which hospitals that doctor is affiliated with. You must be happy with their affiliated hospitals to ensure you get the best care.
What are Your Office Policies?
Office policies include office hours, house calls, appointment setting, private consultations, emergency care, fill-in doctors, and more. It’s critical to find a doctor that will be there when you need them. They should put you in good hands when they are away from the office.
Do Your Research
In addition to asking questions, you should also do your research. Look over the doctor’s website. Read customer reviews to determine the quality of care they offer. Location is another critical factor.
During the Visit
How Severe Is My Injury?
Patients should learn everything they can about their injuries. They should find out what caused the inury if they are unsure, how it will be treated, how long it will last, and how to prevent re-injury. This information will help you understand how to proceed.
Will I Be Able to Return to Work?
Your DOL doctor should be able to tell you how long your injuries will last and whether you will make a full or partial recovery. Some workers make a full recovery and return to work after a set amount of time.
Others will make a partial recovery. In these instances, the worker may return to work, but they will not be able to perform the tasks of their prior position. They may have to take another position that is not as taxing.
If workers are permanently and severely disabled, they may not return to work at all.
Your doctor may not be able to tell you the extent of your disability on the first visit, but an assessment will be made over time.
What is My Treatment Plan?
The DOL doctor should be able to give you an outline of your treatment plan. You may require medication, physical therapy, or a combination of the two. Wound care and dressing may also be included in your plan.
Once the doctor recommends a treatment plan, you may have more questions regarding the medication you are taking and its side effects. You may wonder how long you will need physical therapy and which physical therapist you will see. Don’t hold back on asking questions about your treatment plan. It’s essential to know what to expect.
Will I Need Medical Testing?
Your doctor may recommend that you go for medical testing to aid with their diagnosis. It’s crucial to ask plenty of questions about medical testing. Some doctors recommend unnecessary tests so they can charge patients more.
The most important question to ask is, why do I need to get this test done? If you are unhappy with the doctor’s answer, you can get a second opinion. You should also find out how to prepare for the test, how long it takes to get results, and if there are any side effects.
After the Visit
Once the exam is over, you must get an idea of what you’ll need to do moving forward. Questions to ask include:
What Does My Workers’ Comp Cover?
Your DOL doctor should tell you what your worker’s comp covers. Workers are typically eligible for coverage for loss of wages and medical expenses. The doctor will tell you how long you will receive compensation for lost wages and which medical expenses apply.
If you have a private insurance plan, you may be able to use it to cover the losses and expenses that are not covered by workers’ comp.
What Forms and Procedures are Necessary?
You must fill out specific forms and follow certain procedures to ensure you are compensated for your injury. Your DOL doctor will tell you which forms to fill out and which procedures to follow. They will increase your chances of receiving compensation for your claim.
DOL doctors help the workers comp process run smoothly. You will get the most out of your care by finding the right doctor and asking the right questions. Good luck getting the high-quality treatment you require.