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Nurse Case Managers - Workers' Compensation

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Uploaded on Aug 23, 2010

http://www.lawmed.com
http://www.youtube.com/hensonfuerst

In this video, David Henson talks about the role of the nurse case manager: who they are, what their role is, how they can help or hurt your case, and everything else you need to know to make sure that you get the help you need for your injury.

(This video contains a dramatization and does not depict actual events or real persons.)

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***


Hi, David Henson here, from HensonFuerst law office.

We get a ton of questions about nurse case managers, and their role in Workers' Compensation cases. Who are they, what do they do, and how much should you really trust them. All excellent questions...lets talk.

In North Carolina, a workers' comp nurse case manager does have the right to attend your doctors appointments. However, the nurse DOES NOT have the right to be in the room while you are being examined by the doctor. You can allow them to stay in the examining room if you want, but you have the right to choose to have a private exam, and the nurse case manager must respect that decision.

Once the exam is complete, the nurse has the right to speak with your doctor. We always encourage clients to be in the room when your nurse case manager talks with your doctor. You want to know everything that they discuss so that you can be informed about all aspects of your medical care and treatment. Also, you want to know if the doctor has given any work restrictions—such as restriction on lifting items above a certain weight—or if the doctor puts limitations on standing or sitting, stooping, bending or reaching. All of those factors can affect your workers' comp case.

Now...whether the nurse is there to hurt your case or to help your case is a harder question to answer. As a general rule, you should never forget who is ultimately paying the nurse to be there: the Workers' Comp insurance company. Because of that fact, nurse case workers are beholden to the insurance company, so if they have to align themselves with one side or another, many take the side of the insurance company. That said, however, I have found that many nurses are actually strong patient advocates, and can be one of your best allies in a case. If they support your case and your treatment, they can be a big help to you in your case. So the question of whether they help or hurt a case can't be answered in the abstract—it depends on the nurse and the facts of the case. Lawyers sometimes know the specific nurse case manager assigned to your case, and they will probably be able to discuss the nurse's track record and how they acted with other claimants.

The reality is that if the workers' compensation insurance carrier wants to assign a nurse case manager to your case, you are basically stuck with having a nurse. Hopefully, the person assigned to you will be an advocate for you as you recover from your injuries and attempt to get back to work. If not, it is even more important to get advice from your lawyer on how to deal with the case manager.

Again, this is David Henson with HensonFuerst law firm. If you have additional questions, you can go to our website at http://www.lawmed.com. If you have questions, HensonFuerst has answers.

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