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Monday, January 3, 2011

How do I change my attending physician in my OWCP case?

I am frequently asked by FECA claimants "how do I change my attending physician for my OWCP case?" This can be a problem because many claims examiners will at first ignore your inquiry, then send you a letter telling you to explain why you want to change physicians, and then send you a response to your explanation telling you that your current physician, in the opinion of the claims examiner, is giving you proper care. All of which will likely have wasted six months. The simple way to change physicians is to get a note signed and dated by your current attending physician addressed to OWCP in which the current physician writes "Please be advised that I turn over the function of attending physician to (fill in the name, address, tel number of the new doctor)." Under this circumstance, there is nothing for the claims examiner to do other than document to the file that the prior attending physician has turned you over to another physician. I find that by the time you want to change, the physician's office is often happy to see you go. You can bring in the note needing only a signature to your physician's office and explain that you need a note like this from the doctor. Frequently, the doctor will sign that note. Put your claim number on it and send it in to OWCP, you now have a new attending physician.

Of course, if the reason you need to change is that your current attending physician has retired, relocated out of the area, or has stopped accepting FECA claims, you should simply write the examiner explaining your physician has retired (etc) and you have selected a new attending physician who is ___.