Why is it hard to find a federal doctor? Part 4


Now that the emergency has subsided and you begin the process of visiting your regular doctor, you begin to find that being a federal employee who is hurt on the job, can be a very difficult proposition.

Once you see your doctor and explain the situation, they may be genuinely concerned, but confused on how to proceed. Many doctors do not attempt to help with workers compensation claims at all. They are happy to provide treatment but they have built a practice that does not assist with paperwork. They are allowed to do this! It is your doctor’s business and he/she can run it any way they choose. If they choose to operate a treatment-only practice, that means you need to find a new doctor. Hopefully your doctor can recommend someone else…

Another scenario is that your doctor immediately recognizes your need for a local orthopedic specialist or surgeon and refers you out to their office for further evaluation. Again, you may show up for your appointment only to find that they do not accept work related injury claims and don’t fill out paperwork. You are back to square one.

Commonly, your doctor, or the referred specialist do help with workers compensation claims and are extremely well versed in the laws that govern the state in which you live. Unfortunately, the state laws are very different from the federal law, FECA.

Most doctors do not gear their practices to serve federal employees. And why should they? The federal government and OWCP make it more difficult than most private insurers or state law workers comp. It is also a very small percentage of the overall population. Less than 1 out of every 100 Americans is a federal employee.

A third variable is that a doctor may have had a federal workers compensation claim before. But, if the office staff had trouble with the billing process, or if a requested pre-authorization was denied, the office may have sworn off any future dealings with the OWCP.

To be Continued…


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