You can switch to your regular family doctor; you can also switch to a specialist, so long as he or she is in the insurance company's network. Call the doctor's office and ask if she accepts workers' compensation patients; if she does, odds are she will be in the network. If you don't know who you want to see, you can let the Workers' Compensation Commission staff choose a doctor for you.
Ask the Insurance Adjuster or Nurse Case Manager for a Change
Tell them you want to switch doctors; occasionally, the insurance company will voluntarily agree to a switch. This is always better, because your right to a change is a one-time only right. Once you use it, it's gone forever.
Talk to an Attorney
If the employer or their insurance company has accepted your injury as legitimate and you request a change of doctor, the employer/insurance company is required to pay for at least one visit with the new doctor. But, there is no guarantee they will pay for anything after that first visit. Some adjusters may get angry with you for making a switch and will cut off your benefits. So, before you make your request, talk to an attorney. The attorney may be familiar with your adjuster and can tell you what's likely to happen if you make the request.
Request a Change
Send a letter to the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission requesting a "change of physician". Include in the letter your name, date of birth, Social Security number, the date of your work injury, and your claim number (if you know it). Also include the names of both the doctor you are currently seeing and the doctor you want to see. You can mail the request to the Commission at AWCC, P.O. Box 950, Little Rock, AR 72203-0950. Or, you can fax your request to 501-682-1790.
The Commission usually takes four to six weeks to process changes. In most cases, they will send you a letter approving the change, and they will also set up your first appointment with the new doctor. You should wait until you hear from the Commission before you go to the new doctor, because if you go before the Commission approves the change, you could be liable for the cost of that visit.
See Your New Doctor
When you go, take the films from any x-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans you have had. If you do not have the films, call your old doctor's office and request a copy of the films (not just the written reports). It is also helpful to get all of the written records from your old doctor and drop them by the new doctor's office a few days before your appointment.
Additional resources provided by the author
Always talk to an attorney before you request a change of doctor, because sometimes a change isn't the best choice for you. You can find an attorney by searching here on Avvo. You can also find out more by calling the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission at (800) 250-2511.