So, you’ve suffered injuries as a result of a work related accident. This article addresses whether a nurse case manager (NCM) has the right to attend medical appointments related to treatment needed as a result of the work accident. Whether you have someone referred to as the nurse case manager assigned to your case in regard to your work related injury depends on a few factors. Some of which are: the nature and extent of your injury or injuries, the workers compensation carrier involved, and the adjuster assigned to the handling of your claim.
A NCM can come to the doctor’s office where your appointment is scheduled. They are entitled to receive information concerning your treatment from the doctor’s office. HOWEVER, if you wish to meet with the doctor alone, meaning your appointment takes place between you and the doctor without the NCM present; simply tell the doctor you wish to see him alone. There has never been a time when our office has ever heard of a doctor refusing such a request.
The reason why a NCM has the right to information concerning your treatment and to speak with the doctor is because you had to sign a release that entitled the carrier to receive your medical information as a condition of receiving treatment through workers compensation. The worker’s compensation carrier is paying for your medical care and has an interest in knowing how your treatment is progressing. When you place your medical condition at issue, the right to privacy encompassed within the doctor patient privilege is not included as a protection against releasing your medical information to the workers compensation carrier.
Most of the time, a NCM’s attendance does not cause or create any problems. The purpose they are supposed to fulfill is to help relay the doctor’s recommendations to the adjuster. However, there have been times when a client will tell us that the NCM is trying to talk their doctor out of treatment he/she recommended. We have handled cases wherein the NCM was causing more harm than good; obviously not fulfilling their purpose.
In such instances, we cut off communication between our client and the NCM, inform the doctor’s office of the issue, and generally find that the NCM is quickly replaced or removed from the case entirely. If you have questions about any aspect of your workers compensation claim, a consultation with us is free. Call Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at 727-451-6900 today.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756