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Employee Must Show Physician Care Unreasonable to Switch More than Once
Description Employee who had filed workers' compensation claim had exercised her right to switch to a physician of her choice. Absent a showing that the care provided by that physician was unreasonable, employee could not switch again without permission of employer.
Topic Employment Law
Key Words Workers' Compensation, Choice of Physician
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Chavez filed a workers' compensation claim for injuries sustained while working for employer. Initially, employer selected a physician for Chavez, but she later exercised her right to switch to another physician and, one year later with employer's permission, switched again to another physician. A year later, she requested to switch to another physician, but employer objected. Workers' Compensation Judge held that Chavez could switch again. Employer appealed.
Decision Reversed. The law provides that after the employee sees the physician selected by the employer, the employee may switch to the physician of choice. To switch again requires a showing that the care the employee received from the second (or, in this case, third) physician is unreasonable. Chavez did not meet her burden of showing that the care by the physicians she chose was unreasonable, so she has no right to switch health-care providers again over employer's objection.
Citation Chavez v. Intel Corp., 968 P.2d 1198 (Ct. App., N.M., 1998)

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