California has a unique group of healthcare providers who see and treat patients with job-related injuries or illnesses.
If you sustain an injury while performing your job, you will likely qualify for workers’ compensation benefits under an MPN. What is this and how does it work?
Understanding the MPN
The Medical Provider Network (MPN) became effective on January 1, 2005. Most California employers have an MPN approved by the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). Employees who sustain work-related injuries must use an MPN-listed medical provider. MPNs follow DWC-approved medical treatment guidelines. The state requires that each network provide a mix of doctors. Some practice general medicine and others specialize in work-related injuries. You should choose a doctor who can treat your particular injury.
Starting a claim
You should immediately report a work-related injury to your supervisor. If the condition is one that has developed over time, inform him or her as soon as you learn your job is the cause. Your supervisor should provide you with a form to complete to begin the workers’ compensation claim process.
As a California worker, you can expect five workers’ compensation benefits:
- Costs of medical care
- Temporary disability if you cannot work while recovering
- Permanent disability if you cannot recover completely
- Job displacement allowance
- Death benefits payable to your spouse or other dependents
Keep in mind that under the MPN, you have the opportunity to seek a second or third opinion if you are not satisfied with the diagnosis or treatment of the first doctor you see.