Nothing sets me off more than insurance companies and employers blatantly lying to injured workers about their rights. I heard a terrible lie a worker was told lately. It’s honestly one of the worst ones I’ve ever been told.

This worker tore their rotator cuff and has been treating with the company doctor only. He wanted to see his own orthopedic doctor, but the workers comp coordinator at his company told him, “That’s a really bad idea. It will delay things and the insurance company won’t pay for it anyway.”

What really happened is that the company doctor has been delaying things. He made the worker get a CT scan instead of a MRI. He pushed cortisone injections for months over surgery even though the injections provided no relief. Now his arm feels worse than ever. He ended up seeing a doctor on his own that he paid for out of pocket (we can get that reimbursed) who told him he needed surgery right away.

The truth is that there’s almost never a situation where treating with the company doctor only is a better idea than working with a doctor who is looking out for your best interests. They have an obligation to you. Even the most moral company doctor knows that their paycheck and job depends on the company keeping them around. So they make medical decisions that are at least in part with what’s best for the company in mind.

So it might mean they do physical therapy for two days a week instead of three. Or limit that session to 30 minutes instead of an hour. Or refuse or delay costly tests like MRI’s which can get to the bottom of your problem. And they likely are communicating about your confidential medical information directly with someone from the employer who will be pressuring them to release you to return to work, possibly sooner than you are ready.

A great doctor who is looking out for you is not going to care about a work comp case, the insurance company, the employer or anything else beyond what is the proper medical care for someone in your situation. They’ll treat you the same if you get hurt lifting a box at work or your kid at home. That’s what you should expect and what you deserve.

Any employer or insurance company who tries to keep you from getting your own doctor is looking out for their interests, not yours. Don’t fall for that trick. And if you need help getting with a good doctor, let us know and we will make sure that happens for you.