When you sustain a serious injury on the job in Illinois that requires more than a few doctor visits, it’s very common for an insurance company to assign a nurse case manager to your case. We call them NCM’s for short.
A NCM is a nurse that helps out the insurance company by gathering medical records and updating them on your medical care. But they really make their money by saving the insurance company money as they attempt to limit your medical care. This is of course good for the insurance company bottom line and bad for your health. We, of course, only care about your health.
A NCM, if allowed, will talk directly to the doctor and at times will discourage certain medical procedures. Other times they will try to get doctors to take away physical restrictions that are put in place for a worker’s safety. If a doctor is weak willed, they will basically ignore the best interests of the client so they aren’t hassled or bothered. Other times still we have seen a NCM cancel your appointments because it doesn’t fit their schedule. And worse yet, many of them try to sit in on your appointments which of course invades your privacy and can make you feel very uncomfortable.
Other than gathering medical records and bills, all of these things we described are against the law. Yet they happen anyway. The good news is that a competent attorney can easily stop them by simply making clear that permission is not granted for them to have any communication with the doctor. We as lawyers almost never allow it and if we do, it’s because it is in our client’s best interests. Even then we set very clear ground rules such as making sure they are never in the exam room. But it’s usually just easier and better to take them off the case.
We get a lot of calls from distressed workers who are having their lives ruined by these NCM’s. Some have attorneys who tell them there is nothing they can do. That’s a sign that the lawyer doesn’t know what they are talking about.
If you don’t want a NCM on your case, take control of your life. If you hire us, getting them off the case is the first thing we’d do.
We are workers’ compensation attorneys who help people with Illinois work injuries anywhere in IL via our statewide network of attorneys. Contact us and we will answer your questions or find the right lawyer for your situation.