Yes. Under the Washington state workers’ compensation laws, an injured worker has the right to choose his or her own doctor for treatment. The doctor can be a medical doctor or an alternative care practitioner such as a chiropractor, a naturopath or even a physicians’ assistant supervised by a doctor.
That doctor, however, has to be part of the Department of Labor & Industries’ Provider Network. Make sure when you see a doctor for treatment related to your workers’ compensation claim that he or she is part of the Provider Network. If not, you will need to find another doctor. Out-of-state doctors need not be part of the Provider Network, but they must be an approved provider.
If medically necessary and approved by the Department or self-insured employer, you can treat with more than one doctor at a time. Generally, however, you will have one attending physician who will direct your care.
The Department of Labor & Industries or your self-insured employer may periodically have you examined by doctors they select. Those special examinations (so-called independent medical examination or IME) are allowed under the industrial insurance laws of this state. The location of those examinations must be reasonably convenient to your home.