Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation: Are injured workers required to meet with a rehabilitation nurse?
Answer: No. Pennsylvania workers’ compensation insurance carriers often hire nurses to “monitor” the medical care of an injured worker. The rehabilitation nurses follow injured workers to their doctor appointments and at times put pressure on the doctors to release the injured worker to return to work as well as direct the medical care.
Injured workers have absolutely no obligation to meet with the rehabilitation nurse or to allow the rehabilitation nurse to meet with their medical providers. The injured worker should be able to dictate his/her medical treatment by having private conversations with a physician without interference from a rehabilitation nurse hired by the worker’s compensation carrier. The injured worker has the right to assert the physician-patient privilege.
Injured workers have no obligation to cooperate or even speak to a nurse case manager with regard to medical treatment. The insurance carrier is entitled to get a periodic medical report from the doctor; but again, the medical providers are under absolutely no obligation to speak directly with the workers’ compensation carrier or a rehabilitation nurse. This can only be done with the injured worker’s consent.
Even if you have consented to allowing a rehabilitation nurse to meet with your doctors in the past that does not mean that you have forever waived your right to exclude a rehabilitation nurse from monitoring your treatment. Our law firm meets with many new clients whose medical treatment was previously closely monitored and questioned by rehabilitation nurses. We can take steps to see that the rehabilitation nurse cannot interfere with your treatment. This permits our clients to meet privately with their physician and make decisions that are in their best interests for a speedy recovery while allowing our office to handle the many complicated issues involving Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law with the insurance carrier.
If you would like to consult with an experienced Pennsylvania worker’s compensation attorney, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation at 717-238-1657.