Dealing with a Nurse Case Manager in Your Workers' Compensation Case
Posted Dennis Kergick on May 09, 2014 in Workers' Compensation
What is a Nurse Case Manager/Rehab Nurse?
If you've been on workers' compensation, either getting medical benefits, wage loss benefits, or both, you may have had some dealings with a nurse case manager. A frequent question we hear is: "What is the nurse case manager there to do?". The answer is simple; the nurse case manager is there to help the insurance company limit the amount of workers' compensation benefits you are able to collect. She is used by the insurance company to act as a go-between from your doctors to the adjuster. The nurse case manager is also used to manipulate your treatment and possibly even use what you might say against you. A nurse case manager is not to be trusted under any circumstances.
How does a Nurse Case Manager hurt my case?
The nurse case manager may accompany you to appointments. The nurse case manager may talk to your doctor after appointments or try to manipulate your treatment. The nurse case manager will pretend to be on your side. She may present an Independent Medical Examination as a "special privilege" and an appointment you should feel honored to be able to attend. In fact, the Independent Medical Examination (or IME) is the insurance company's best way to try to reduce your compensation benefits or get you off of workers' comp completely. The biggest issue with nurse case managers is how they present themselves. I've read texts and heard voicemails where nurse case managers pretend to be helping the injured workers rather than working for the interests of the insurance company. These nurses will pretend to be your friend and try to manipulate how you handle your case and most importantly try to keep you away from or talk you out of contacting a workers' compensation attorney.
What can I do to help my case?
First, you should contact a workers' compensation attorney immediately. The consultation will be free and the attorney will be able to truthfully tell you what rights you have. Secondly, you should, on your own or through an attorney, write to the nurse case manager stating that she is to have no further contact with you or your treating doctors and revoking any medical authorizations that you may have previously completed. Additionally, it is a good idea to inform each medical provider, in writing, that you revoke any such authorizations that would allow the provider to share information with the nurse case manager.
If you're worried about the effect a Nurse Case Manager or Rehab Nurse might be having on your WC case, reach out to the experienced team at Schmidt Kramer today. We serve all of Central Pennsylvania and will be able to talk you through this difficult and confusing time.