In Missouri, your employer generally has no legal right to attend your workers’ comp medical appointments — even if they’re a qualified medical practitioner.
Still, it’s not uncommon for an employer to insist on being present during workers’ comp medical appointments.
Why would an employer want to attend an employee’s comp medical appointment?
To Influence the Doctor’s Decisions
In situations where the primary care provider has a close or financially rewarding relationship with your employer or the insurance company, it could be incredibly easy for your employer or insurer to convince the doctor to write a report that downplays the seriousness of your injuries. A biased or inaccurate medical report can be used to delay, devalue or deny your workers’ comp claim.
If you have a skill-set and work experience that is hard to find or replicate or were working on a project that has a tight deadline, your employer may also try to talk the doctor into clearing you for ‘light duties.’ However, once you accept the light duties and return to work, your employer may try to coerce you into going back to your old post. This could worsen your condition or injuries.
To Put You Under Undue Pressure to Agree to Return to Work
The idea of attending your medical appointments accompanied by your employer or manager can be intimidating, and this can cause you to underreport your injuries and symptoms. The pressure can also make you accept going back to work before fully recovering from your injuries.
The Missouri Workers’ Comp return to work policy does not include any provisions that allow your employer or insurer’s representative to attend your workers’ comp medical appointments.
What Is Required of an Employer in Workers’ Comp Medical Appointments?
While your employer or the insurer is generally not entitled to accompany you to your medical appointments, they have a right to pick a healthcare provider for you — according to Section 287.140.1, RSMo.
Also, your employer’s workers’ comp insurer should generally cover your medical costs and any days of work you miss due to your injury.
What to Do If Your Employer Insists They Must Attend Your Medical Appointment
Don’t yield to your employer’s request or threats. Seek the help of an experienced workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help protect your rights and privacy and stop any tricks that the employer may use to influence your doctor’s decision.
If you have been injured on the job in Missouri, reach out to The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. We have a solid track record in representing injured employees and helping them get their rightful compensation. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
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