The Flint Journal ‘Ask the Attorney’ Column
Q. I was injured at work and have been receiving medical treatment for the past several months. The workers’ comp carrier has hired a nurse case manager to come to my doctor appointments. She invites herself in to the examination room, harasses my doctor, and demands that my doctor terminate my restrictions. She has called the doctor’s office and cancelled my appointments. This lady is interfering with my care. What can I do?
A. There is nothing in the Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation Act that requires an injured worker to have a nurse case manager. Twenty eight days after a work injury, a worker has a right to select his or her medical provider. Rules allow the insurer to receive copies of medical reports every 60 days. Neither you nor your doctor are required to talk with this person, nor are you required to sign documents giving an insurer’s nurse power to talk with your doctors or to participate in your care. Sometimes these case managers can help in getting authorization for treatment, and it may make sense to at least keep them informed about your medical condition, but usually they cannot be trusted to act in your best interests. You should contact me to discuss how to best deal with your own specific situation.
–Robert MacDonald (March 2016)