We’ve been fortunate to become friends with so many VA employees and their AFGE union leaders throughout the state of Florida. We frequently visit with VA AFGE members and leaders in St. Pete, West Palm Beach, and Miami. These federal employees and union leaders have become some of our very best friends and WE LOVE THEM. So, we’re happy to say that we now have an OWCP injury doctor to help VA employees in the Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and Tampa Bay area.
Employees in the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System and the surrounding VA outpatient clinics can visit us when they have an OWCP federal work injury in Clearwater, St. Pete, and Tampa, Florida. One problem that we’ve found over the years helping injured VA employees is that they are very often told that they have to FIRST see a VA doctor when they are hurt at work with an OWCP injury. This is completely false and so far, we’ve never seen an OWCP injury claim that was accepted when the only doctor who evaluated the patient was the VA doctor. And listen, VA doctors are world-class; some of the very best doctors in the world, but they are not trained in OWCP and that’s critically important.
So, here’s the actual rule on initial choice of physician.
CA-810: Injury Compensation for Federal Employees Chapter 6, Medical Benefits and Care 6-3. Choice of Physician A. Initial Choice. An employee is entitled to initial choice of physician for treatment of an injury. He or she may choose any licensed physician in private practice who is not excluded, or he or she may choose to be treated at a government medical facility if one is available. Such facilities include hospitals of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of Veterans Affairs and their medical officers. Agency personnel may not interfere with the employee’s right to choose a physician and may not require an employee to go to a physician employed by, or under contract to, the agency before going to the physician of the employee’s choice. . .
See what it said there? You can not be required to go to a physician employed by, or under contract to, the agency. That includes VA doctors. You can choose any licensed private physician who is not excluded from OWCP. So there you have it. VA employees can choose their own doctor and we have great, willing, and highly-trained OWCP injury doctors for injured VA employees in and around St. Pete, Clearwater, and Tampa Florida. Please call us when you are injured working at the VA. We want to help you.