If you've been injured while on the job and have been assigned a nurse case manager, you may be wondering why and what's the point. Nurse case management actually began in the workers' compensation industry. Nurse case managers are hired to help the injured navigate the medical appointments and treatments in hopes of a speedy recovery, which can help medical costs and productivity as the injured return to work.
There are several issues that may concern you in regards to your nurse case manager, especially if you are a particularly private person who doesn't like to have your life delved into as an open book. Here's what you need to know.
Nurse Case Managers Must Abide by HIPAA & Privacy Laws
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 protects your privacy, and nurse case managers must abide by this law. He or she is not permitted to speak to anyone about your medical issues unless you give them permission in writing. Sometimes, nurse case managers will ask questions regarding personal issues, such as whether or not you have any children living in the home or if you are married.
These types of issues do not fall under HIPAA, nor are they required for workers' compensation. If he or she asks personal questions or speaks with your medical team without your consent, speak with a workers' compensation lawyer.
The Role of Nurse Case Managers & Who Hires Them
The role of a nurse case manager is that of a facilitator or a liaison. They make appointments and schedule treatments. Sometimes, they go to your medical appointments. They can also discuss your diagnosis and treatments to update the workers' compensation case. They are typically hired by workers' compensation insurance companies but may sometimes be hired by employers.
Of course, this means they are not a third party as their job, essentially, is to expedite your ability to return to work. However, this does not mean they can tell your doctors to conclude treatments earlier than necessary or to say certain treatments are not necessary. If you do feel as if your nurse case manager is trying to rush your recovery, speak with a workers' compensation attorney because nurse case managers are not permitted to do so.
In conclusion, research shows that in 2016, workplace injuries cost as much as $151 billion annually due to loss of wages and productivity, as well as medical and administrative expenses. Imagine the costs if there were no nurse case managers. To learn more, check out a website like http://mcmullenochs.com.