Problems with Florida’s Workers’ Comp System
Florida’s workers’ comp system has some unique problems.
One of the chief issues with the Florida system is the requirement that all treatment for work-related injuries be performed by doctors preauthorized by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Besides the obvious unpleasantness of having to forego treatment with a doctor you know and trust and switching to one you may have never met, this is problematic for other reasons:
- The authorized doctor may not know your medical history — Medical history is an important component of diagnosis and treatment. While authorized doctors certainly review your medical files, they are not as well-acquainted with your medical history as your own doctor.
- The authorized doctor may not know you personally — Trust goes both ways in the doctor/patient relationship. Not only do you trust your doctor to provide quality care, but your doctor knows you and trusts you to accurately report your symptoms. A doctor who does not know you personally may be more likely to dismiss or minimize your complaints of pain and disability.
- Insurers tend to choose doctors who serve their interests — Not to say that any doctor puts outside concerns above patient well-being, but doctors do develop reputations about their treatment and rehabilitation approaches and philosophies. Insurers tend to favor doctors who treat conditions aggressively and push patients back to work quickly.
Because your authorized doctor is the one ultimately responsible for deciding when you can return to work, and whether your injury is work-related, an unsympathetic doctor often makes workers’ compensation litigation necessary.