In Iowa workers’ compensation cases the employer and insurance company have the right to choose the medical care providers for the injured worker.
If the worker is unhappy with the medical care they can file a Petition for Alternate Medical Care to have the care changed. The employer’s obligation is to provide reasonable care. The Claimant has the burden of proof to show that the authorized care is unreasonable. Determining what care is reasonable is a question of fact. As a general matter when the evidence shows that the employer-authorized medical care has not been effective, and that the authorized care is inferior to the requested care, the Petition for Alternate Medical Care will be granted.
On April 4, 2018 the Commissioner issued an alternate medical care decision in the case of Bushbaum v. Custom Wood Products which involves a worker’s request for alternate medical care, and also a complaint that the defendants had abandoned providing any medical care. If the Commissioner finds that the defendants have abandoned medical care in a case, then the Commissioner will allow the worker to choose his future medical care.