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Chapter 4.5. Division of Workers' Compensation
Subchapter 1. Administrative Director--Administrative Rules
Article 5. Predesignation of Personal Physician; Request for Change of Physician; Reporting Duties of the Primary Treating Physician; Petition for Change of Primary Treating Physician

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§9781. Employee's Request for Change of Physician.

(a) This section shall not apply to self-insured and insured employers who offer a Medical Provider Network pursuant to section 4616 of the Labor Code.

(b) Pursuant to section 4601 of the Labor Code, and notwithstanding the 30 day time period specified in subdivision (c), the employee may request a one time change of physician at any time.

(1) An employee's request for change of physician pursuant to this subdivision need not be in writing. The claims administrator shall respond to the employee in the manner best calculated to inform the employee, and in no event later than 5 working days from receipt of said request, the claims administrator shall provide the employee an alternative physician, or if the employee so requests, a chiropractor or acupuncturist.

(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of section 9780.1, if an employee requesting a change of physician pursuant to this subdivision has notified his or her employer in writing prior to the date of injury that he or she has either a personal chiropractor or a personal acupuncturist, and where the employee so requests, the alternative physician tendered by the claims administrator to the employee shall be the employee's personal chiropractor or personal acupuncturist as defined in subdivisions (b) and (c), respectively, of Labor Code section 4601. The notification to the employer must include the name and business address of the chiropractor or acupuncturist. The employer shall notify its employees of the requirements of this subdivision and provide its employees with an optional form for notification of a personal chiropractor or acupuncturist, in accordance with section 9880. DWC Form 9783.1 in section 9783.1 may be used for this purpose.

(3) Except where the employee is permitted to select a personal chiropractor or acupuncturist as defined in subdivisions (b) and (c), respectively, of Labor Code section 4601, the claims administrator shall advise the employee of the name and address of the alternative physician, or chiropractor or acupuncturist if requested, the date and time of an initial scheduled appointment, and any other pertinent information.

(c) Pursuant to section 4600, after 30 days from the date the injury is reported, the employee shall have the right to be treated by a physician or at a facility of his or her own choice within a reasonable geographic area.

(1) The employee shall notify the claims administrator of the name and address of the physician or facility selected pursuant to this subdivision. However, this notice requirement will be deemed to be satisfied if the selected physician or facility gives notice to the claims administrator of the commencement of treatment or if the claims administrator receives this information promptly from any source.

(2) If so requested by the selected physician or facility, the employee shall sign a release permitting the selected physician or facility to report to the claims administrator as required by section 9785.

(d) When the claims administrator is notified of the name and address of an employee-selected physician or facility pursuant to subdivision (c), or of a personal chiropractor or acupuncturist pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), the claims administrator shall:

(1) authorize such physician or facility or personal chiropractor or acupuncturist to provide all medical treatment reasonably required pursuant to section 4600 of the Labor Code;

(2) furnish the name and address of the person to whom billing for treatment should be sent;

(3) arrange for the delivery to the selected physician or facility of all medical information relating to the claim, all X-rays and the results of all laboratory studies done in relation to the injured employee's treatment; and

(4) provide the physician or facility with (1) the fax number, if available, to be used to request authorization of treatment plans; (2) the complete requirements of section 9785; and (3) the forms set forth in sections 9785.2 and 9785.4. In lieu of providing the materials required in (2) and (3) immediately above, the claims administrator may refer the physician or facility to the Division of Workers' Compensation's website where the applicable information and forms can be found at http://www.dir.ca.gov/DWC/dwc_home_ page.htm.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 133 and 4603.5, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 3551, 4600 and 4601, Labor Code.

HISTORY

1. Repealer and new section filed 11-9-77; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 77, No. 46).

2. Repealer and new section and amendment ofNote filed 3-14-2006; operative 3-14-2006 pursuant to Government Code section 11343.4 (Register 2006, No.11).

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