carenow urgent care

Many employers partner with clinics that offer occupational health services. If an employee is injured on the job, the employee can be sent to the clinic for treatment.

CareNow Urgent Care is one such occupational health clinic. While these clinics may seem convenient, be on alert if your employer sends you to one.

Occupational health clinics are part of your employer’s health insurance plan because your employer partnered with them. Therefore, their loyalties sometimes steer toward your employer rather than you as a patient. 

At Armstrong, Lee & Baker, LLP, we don’t want anyone to take advantage of you. Read on to learn about your rights after a work injury and if your employer tries to send you to an occupational health clinic, contact our office immediately.

What is CareNow Urgent Care?

CareNow Urgent Care provides urgent medical care as an alternative to waiting for an appointment with your provider or waiting in the hospital emergency room.

There are 225 clinics in the United States, including one in Houston. CareNow Urgent Care accepts both appointments and walk-ins.

Many employers partner with clinics like CareNow Urgent Care for their occupational health services. These clinics offer various resources, such as:

  • Workers’ compensation network participation;
  • Full x-ray capabilities onsite;
  • Detailed injury reporting information, and
  • Designated account representative.

CareNow Urgent Care also has various drug and alcohol testing resources for employees as well as physicals.

What Are the Downsides of Going to an Occupational Health Clinic?

CareNow Urgent Care sees all patients, not just those for occupational services. However, take caution if you are visiting the clinic for a work-related injury. These clinics are also hired by employers to be part of their insurance plan for injured employees. 

CareNow Urgent Care advertises on its website for business employers to contact them to establish an occupational medical plan with them and that they will “take good care” of the employees. Their objective is to have businesses partner with them for occupational health services. 

Because of the relationship CareNow Urgent Care has with employers, their primary goal might not always be the health of the employees who see them.

Rather, their goal may be maintaining the business relationship with the company that hired them. The clinic relies on these types of relationships as a revenue stream.

For example, take two examples of a patient who visited an occupational health clinic for a work injury.

Example 1

Suppose an employee injured their leg at work when a beam fell on them. The employee is sent to the occupational health clinic. The doctor diagnoses a broken leg.

Example 2

The same facts. The doctor at the occupational health clinic diagnoses the broken leg. However, they also do additional tests and find a head concussion and internal bleeding from the accident. 


These two examples have very different outcomes. In the first example, the employee gets minimal treatment and will get fewer benefits.

Even if the concussion and internal bleeding become apparent later, they will not be connected to the work injury because the doctor at the clinic did not report it. Worse, if they are never discovered, the injured employee may experience even more health issues moving forward.

In the second example, the employee has much more serious injuries on record because the doctor investigated and performed more tests.

The employer in the first example will likely use the clinic again. In the second example, because more injuries were found, the employer might think about looking elsewhere for an occupational health clinic. The more a clinic reports major injuries, the higher the employer’s insurance costs will rise.

Therefore, to keep businesses partnering with them, it is in the clinic’s best interest to diagnose fewer injuries in the employees sent to them.

What Are Common Practices Occupational Clinics Utilize?

Because occupational clinics want to keep the companies that hired them happy, here are common tactics they can utilize:

  • Diagnose and treat minimal injuries. Occupational clinic doctors can focus on treating the most apparent injury, like the broken leg in the example above, without looking to see if the employee suffered further injuries. 
  • Refuse additional testing. Clinics may encourage employees to return to work before investigating if any other injuries exist with more diagnostic tests.
  • Not allowing injured employees to see a doctor. Sometimes an employee can’t even see the doctor. Rather, they see a nurse or physician’s assistant who doesn’t have the same experience in treating injuries.

These tactics delay or prevent treatment for employees and therefore minimize their benefits.

What Are Your Rights as an Employee?

You have rights as an employee if you are injured at work. The most important right is that an employer cannot choose your doctor.

Nor can an employer force you to go to a specific doctor. If they tell you that you must go to the occupational clinic, know you don’t have to. You have the right to choose your doctor from the list of approved physicians provided by the network. 

In Texas, employers either subscribe to workers’ compensation or are deemed nonsubscribers. Nonsubscriber employers often sign with private insurance companies.

Normally, employers compile a list of medical providers within their plan. To be covered, injured employees must choose from this list of medical providers. However, employers cannot choose the doctor on the list for the employee.

Further, employees have every right to seek out their own medical provider, even if they are not on the list. In this case, the employee would be responsible financially for seeing a doctor not covered by the employer’s plan.

Contact the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Armstrong, Lee & Baker, LLP

If you sustained a serious injury at work, talk to one of the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Armstrong, Lee & Baker, LLP. We can ensure you are picking a doctor who will focus more on your care than on what your employer wants.

Our attorneys have decades of combined legal experience. We have extensive knowledge and access to resources to investigate your case and represent you. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. 

At Armstrong, Lee & Baker, LLP, we will fight for you. Remember, we get nothing unless you do. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Scott Armstrong obtains remarkable results for his clients.  He has successfully tried numerous cases to favorable verdicts and reached significant settlements on his clients’ behalf.  In the process, he has recovered millions for his clients.