In North Carolina, employers or insurers who are paying compensation related to a workers’ compensation claim are allowed to submit a questionnaire to medical providers who are treating or have treated the employee receiving compensation. The regulations also allow providers to answer the workers’ compensation questionnaire without asking the patient for authorization.
Medical providers are not required to answer all of the questions on the form; they have to answer only the particular questions checked off by the employer, and only when they feel that they have enough information to form an opinion about the particular subject of the question.
One of the questions on the questionnaire asks the medical provider to provide an opinion about the relationship between the job duties or the on-the-job incident that led to the compensation claim (as described by the patient) and the injuries or condition for which the worker is receiving treatment. The multiple-choice answers to that question include one stating that the job duties or the incident have “no relation” to the patient’s injury, as well as one stating that the duties or incident caused (or contributed to) the worker’s injury.
The provider’s answer to that question is extremely important to the ultimate determination of whether or not the injured worker has a valid workers’ compensation claim. It is therefore important for injured workers to know that a medical provider who answers such a questionnaire has to provide the answers simultaneously both to the party requesting the information and to the patient/employee treated by the provider.
If you have filed a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina and questions have arisen about your claim, you should consider consulting an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney.
The attorneys at Lee & Smith serve clients in numerous locations throughout North Carolina. For a free consultation regarding your workers’ compensation case, please contact us by phone or email.