Can my employer talk with my doctor? – Too often when you’re injured on the job your employer sends you to the doctor’s office, but when you go, your supervisor or someone from safety also goes with you and tells you that you have to let them come into the appointment with you because it’s Workers’ Compensation.
Even worse, sometimes on top of having the supervisor there, when the appointment’s over, they tell you to go wait in the exam room because they have to talk with the doctor.
Can my employer talk with my doctor?
Another common case is when you go to the doctor by yourself, and the doctor gives you restrictions and sets the next appointment during a work day, but later you find out that your supervisor called the doctor to ask them if they can change the restrictions or the appointment.
Do I lose medical privacy if I’m getting medical care under Workers’ Compensation?
The insurance company has a right to get your medical records for the body part that you’re treating for as a result of your work injury. They not only get to have the medical records that they’re paying for but also the medical records before the injury for that same body part, to make sure they’re not paying for other problems you might have had previously.
Most of the time we only see medical records going from the doctor’s office to the insurance company, but sometimes the employer will get them and the worst part is when they start inserting themselves into the medical doctor-patient relationship.
Do I have to allow my supervisor into the medical appointment?
No. You can say that it is your medical appointment and they have to stay outside. If the doctor tells you that they won’t treat you unless the supervisor is there too, you can tell them to put that in writing so you can find a different doctor who will treat you respecting your medical privacy.
Your relationship with your doctor is independent from you employer, so you don’t have to permit your supervisor or safety director to come into the appointments with you, and the same goes for case managers from the insurance company.
Can my employer call the doctor without my knowledge?
No. They can tell you that they want to have a conference with the doctor and invite you to that conference, but you have to be present during that conversation.
In our opinion it’s completely unethical for your doctor to talk about your medical care without giving you knowledge, in fact, the Workers’ Compensation law says that if there’s a conference, the doctor has to take notes and provide them to everybody.
If you find out that your employer is talking with the doctor and trying to dictate care, you need to get an attorney to put a stop to it.
We’re here to help
There are things that we as Workers’ Compensation attorneys can do to protect your medical privacy and to limit the overzealous employer’s efforts to insert themselves into your medical doctor-patient relationship even if it’s a work injury.
If you or your loved ones have been injured on the job in Colorado, we can help you. Call or text us at 970-356-98-98, all of our consultations are free and confidential.
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