In Iowa, when an employee suffers a work injury, the employer has the right to direct and choose the medical care providers. If you suffer a work injury, you should notify your employer and ask to be directed to medical care.  Your employer will likely not allow you to go to your own personal physician and likely will not pay for treatment if it is not approved by the employer.

In some situations, you may be unhappy with your medical treatment provided by your employers’ physicians. If you are simply unhappy with the treatment of the physicians directed by the employer, there is not much that you can do according to the law.  However, if the treatment that is being provided is unreasonable, Iowa law allows you to file an alternate care petition under Iowa Code 85. 27(4).

Iowa Code 85.27(4) states as follows:

. . . . If the employee has reason to be dissatisfied with the care offered, the employee should communicate the basis of such dissatisfaction to the employer, in writing if requested, following which the employer and the employee may agree to alternate care reasonably suited to treat the injury.  If the employer and employee cannot agree on such alternate care, the commissioner may, upon application and reasonable proofs of the necessity therefor, allow and order other care.

In order to win an alternate care proceeding, you need to prove that the care provided by the employer is unreasonable.  Some examples of unreasonable care are:

a.     failing to send you to a doctor in a timely manner;
b.     failing to approve medical treatment prescribed by the doctor directed by the employer;
c.     when a doctor treats you in an extremely rude manner to the degree where you do not have confidence in their recommendations;
d.     when a doctor is not providing any treatment, etc.

If you feel the medical treatment provided by the employer is unreasonable or you are not being provided treatment, call Platt Law Firm at 515-278-1522 for a FREE consultation regarding your alternate medical care rights.

The above discussion contains information about general workers’ compensation law application in Iowa.  The above information is not meant to be and should not be taken as legal advice.  Your individual case is unique and may have factors that do not apply to the above discussion.

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