By Freddy Monares/UM Legislative News Service

HELENA - The House Business and Labor Committee will consider a bill Friday that would reinstate the ability for people injured in worker’s compensation cases to pick their own doctors.

House Bill 229 would reverse a 2011 law, which gave the responsibility of finding a healthcare provider to insurance companies and employers.

Andrea Olsen, D-Missoula
Andrea Olsen, D-Missoula

Rep. Andrea Olsen, D-Missoula, is the sponsor of the bill.

“To be able to say what doctor and what treatment I can receive is not in the best interest of myself. It’s not in the best interest of anyone who is attempting to heal from an injury or an illness,” Olsen said.

She said the whole goal of medical treatment, “is to afford a person the ability to get well, to recover from an injury.”

She said it should be everyone’s right to choose their own doctors. Having a relationship with a doctor could help in the healing process of an injury or illness, she said

“We believe that by choosing your own doctor that puts you in a better position, than if your insurance company or an insurance adjuster chooses the doctor for you,” Olsen said.

Freddy Monares is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.