Under Iowa workers’ compensation law the employer has the right to select the medical care providers for an injured worker. The employer also has the obligation to make sure that the medical care is offered promptly and without undue inconvenience to the injured worker.
In Iowa work comp it is very important to make sure that the employer authorize or approve the medical care. In certain circumstances an employer can be required to pay medical care for a work injury that was not authorized or approved. However, it is a much better idea for a worker to get the medical care authorized before it is performed.
Disputes relating to medical care can fall under several broad categories. One potential problem area is where the employee refuses to cooperate with the medical care or does not full cooperate with medical care. As a general matter, an injured worker is not required to undergo invasive medical procedures such as surgery. However, if an injured worker fails to cooperate with less invasive treatment such as physical therapy or medication, the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner will examine whether there was substantial compliance with the medical care or whether the worker had a reasonable excuse for not cooperating with the medical care. An unreasonable failure to comply or completely cooperate with medical care could result in a suspension or reduction of weekly benefits to the injured worker.