I’ve written on this blog many times about the danger of nurse case managers in Illinois workers’ compensation cases. Bottom line is that some will try to talk to your doctor directly or schedule your appointments so they can attend. All of that is illegal.
A recent caller had a similar situation that I’d never come across before. He hurt his leg at work and went to see a doctor. But his supervisor insisted on coming to the appointment to make sure that there was no dispute in what the doctor heard about how he got hurt. So that happened and then a follow up appointment was scheduled which the boss ended up cancelling and re-scheduling because he had to pick up his son at school.
This is all nuts and illegal.
Medical care in Illinois workers’ compensation cases is for the worker and patient privacy laws prevent anyone from interfering with their medical care. That means your boss can’t talk to your doctor, can’t be in the exam room with you, can’t change your appointment to fit their schedule or do anything other than ask the office for a copy of medical records and bills.
My educated guess is that this was some overly exuberant risk manager type who may have meant well (or maybe not) but in a likely effort to protect the company was risking the health of an employee who was clearly hurt while working on the job.
The legal term for all of this is the Petrillo Doctrine which is a fancy way of saying that there was a case a while ago and the conclusion of that case is that nobody can talk to your doctors without your permission. If they do, any information they get from the doctor would be barred at trial. So don’t sign any documents that give them that right and know that even if you did, it can be revoked at any time.
Bottom line is that while your employer and the insurance company are entitled to information, it can’t come at the expense of your privacy or health. Don’t get pushed around. And as always, if you need our help or just have a questions, feel free to call us any time.