Provided by Judy Stowell of Pinnacol Assurance

One of the most important tasks Colorado businesses have had in addressing the changes resulting from House Bill (HB) 1176, which took effect on January 1, 2008, has been choosing their medical providers.

The law requires Colorado employers to designate two medical providers to treat employees who are injured on the job. The two medical providers must be at two distinct locations without common ownership. (There are several legal exceptions, which you can read about on, in the “Employers” section under “Review Legislative News.”)

  • A provider designation process that ensures you will always have two providers listed on your policy
  • A robust Web-based provider designation system that allows you to quickly and easily manage provider designations

Tips for Choosing

Designating a doctor or clinic to care for your workers is similar to choosing your own family doctor—it’s about establishing a relationship based on trust and communication.

“We’re seeing more employers really take the time to find providers that they can work with effectively,” says Bonnie Cahoon, director of Pinnacol’s medical operations team, which oversees our SelectNet network of occupational health care providers.

To find the best medical providers, take an inventory of your company’s needs. For example, beyond treating any potential worker injuries, does your firm require specialized, occupational-related services such as:

  • Physical screenings after a conditional job offer has been made
  • Drug testing
  • Specific examinations, such as Department of Transportation physicals

Next, what logistical and general medical considerations are important to you, including:

  • Do you need a clinic with caregivers who speak Spanish?
  • Are you likely to need after-hours care?
  • Do you need more than one medical clinic location, based on your operations?
  • Do you need a physician willing to come to the work site?
  • Are you comfortable with workers being treated by a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant?
  • Do you prefer a clinic with onsite X-ray and laboratory capabilities?

Once you’ve answered these questions, start researching providers in your area. Pinnacol’s online SelectNet provider directory is an excellent resource, providing specific information on how our providers meet many of the criteria listed above.

When you’ve narrowed down your choices, we strongly recommend that you call the provider(s) to schedule an introductory meeting with their physicians and staff. Some areas you’ll want to address:

  • Who are the “point persons” for your firm and the provider?
  • In the case of an injury, can you expect regular updates from the provider?
  • What does the provider know about your business?
  • What specific job-related hazards do you need to let the provider know about, such as employee access to chemicals, biohazardous materials, or other toxins?

Visit Pinnacol’s Web Site to Make Selections

To review providers and choose your preferred providers if you have not already done so, use Pinnacol ServiceLink. Go to, under "QuickLinks" choose “Manage SelectNet Providers,” and then click on “Manage Medical Providers.” After logging on, you will be able to select your two preferred providers, and Pinnacol will be immediately notified of your choices.

From the ServiceLink site, you can also print a sample “Letter to Injured Worker” that you are required to give to your employee at the time of the injury notifying him or her of your two designated medical providers. If circumstances prevent you from providing the information at the time of the injury, you must notify the injured worker in writing within seven business days of being notified of the injury.

If you have questions about the provider designation process, please contact Wells Fargo Insurance Services Mountain West Inc. at 800.332.9256.


If you have questions on any legal or regulatory topic, please contact:


Colorado Automobile Dealers Association
 290 East Speer Boulevard Denver, CO  80203
 Telephone:  303.831.1722  |  Facsimile: 303.831.4205