I always instruct my clients that under no circumstances should the nurse case manager be allowed in the examination room with you and the doctor. Further, you have the right to contact the adjustor and decline the services of a nurse case manager.
Must I Cooperate With The Workers' Comp Nurse?
Sometimes an employer's workers' compensation insurer will assign a "rehabilitation nurse" to a case. Most workers mistakenly believe that they must allow the nurse to go with them to the doctor's office for their visit.
This rehab nurse is really involved to monitor your case rather than to serve any true rehabilitation purpose. It is not mandatory that you accept one of these nurses. I have heard of situations where doctors send workers back to work sooner than the worker believes he is ready because the doctor does not want to deal with what he perceives as interference in treatment decisions. Some nurses have even followed workers into the examining room and sat through examinations.
It is my recommendation that you do not accept the services of this type of nurse. However, if you do, do not let the nurse go with you into the examination room with your doctor. This is your time with your doctor. If the doctor is getting frustrated with the nurse's being around, tell the comp carrier you do not want the nurse any more.
To find out more of your rights, visit: http://www.previant.com/PracticeAreas/Injured-Workers-Bill-of-Rights.asp
If you were a civilian Federal Employee when you were injured, you can presently decline the services of a your case management nurse, However one of the bills before Congress right now will take that right away and rule that a refusal to cooperate with the OWCP nurse is to impede Rehab and you could be sanctioned. Even if you win on appeal, you could be without income for a while.
I urge you to talk to a local attorney or union steward who can advise you on your rights.
You have ABSOLUTELY no obligation to allow the nurse case manager into the exam room when you are meeting with your doctor. In fact, your doctor has no obligation to allow the nurse into his clinic, as she is not a patient or patient's family member. You should tell your doctor that you strongly prefer that the nurse not be allowed into the exam room, and that you would also prefer that she/he communicate with the nurse along by sending her copies of his dictated medical records. That is ALL she is entitled to under the Wisconsin Worker's Compensation statute.
Attorney Aaron Halstead