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Choice of Doctor and Payment of Medical Expenses

An employee who is injured at work or suffers from an occupational disease, is entitled to payment of all medical, surgical and hospital treatment relating to the injury including: doctor bills, hospital bills, medicines, medical and surgical supplies, crutches and artificial limbs. In addition, an injured employee is entitled to compensation for lost time and traveling expenses incurred for treatment or examination.

All reasonable and necessary medical expenses must be paid by the employer, or by the insurance carrier, whether or not weekly benefits are also due for temporary or permanent disability.

Selection of a Doctor

When a worker reports an injury, the employer shall offer the worker the right to select a doctor of the worker's choice for treatment. The employee may select any physician, psychologist, chiropractor or podiatrist licensed to practice in Wisconsin. If the injury creates an emergency situation, the employer may make whatever arrangements are necessary for immediate treatment. Once the emergency passes, the worker has the right to select a doctor for future treatment.

Employee Allowed First And Second Choice Of Doctor

The law recognizes that if the employee does not have confidence in the first doctor, recovery may be delayed. If the employee is not satisfied with the first doctor s/he chooses, a second choice is allowed. While the worker must notify the employer of this second choice, the employer may not object to it.

After changing doctors once, any further change may be made only by mutual agreement between the employee, employer and insurance carrier. If the attending doctor refers the employee to a specialist or a series of specialists, this referral is still considered to be treatment by one doctor. If several doctors in one partnership or clinic are seen, these are all considered one doctor.

Failure to notify the employer of the initial selection or of a change of doctors can lead to a disputed claim and the possibility of the injured employee having to pay for the entire cost of treatment.

Any Doctor In an Emergency

In an emergency situation, an employee can go to any doctor for treatment. The employer should be notified as soon as possible thereafter.

Examination by Employer's Doctor

On written request, an employee should submit promptly to a reasonable examination by any doctor (physician, chiropractor, psychologist or podiatrist) named by the employer or insurance company. Independent Medical Examination

Refusal of Treatment

No compensation is payable for disability of an employee if the disability was caused by, or aggravated by, an unreasonable refusal or neglect to submit to or follow reasonable medical or surgical treatment. However, an employee may refuse surgery, which might endanger life or limb.

Out of State Treatment

The employee may treat with a medical practitioner not licensed in Wisconsin, with the consent of the insurer. The insurer's consent is not necessary if the out-of-state treatment is based on a referral from a practitioner licensed in Wisconsin.