Should You Disclose Your Medical Records To The Insurer?
When you file a workers’ compensation case, the insurance company for your employer will ask you to sign a release allowing them to obtain copies of all your medical treatment records and reports. They will also ask you to disclose the identity of any doctors you have seen for your injury.
Essentially, your medical history may no longer be kept private when you pursue a claim. There are, however, certain limitations. If you are represented by an attorney, your counsel should review the medical release before it is signed to make sure it is not sacrificing your privacy rights.
How Will Insurers Use Your Information?
Full access to your reports and records is very important for several reasons. Most importantly, they will be provided to your treating physician so that recommendations for your treatment are made with the best information about your health as possible. They will also be provided to any neutral doctor who is asked to render medical and disability opinions on your case.
With few exceptions, medical reports and records must be shared between the insurance company and the employee or the employee’s attorney. Special limitations only prevent open disclosure in very limited circumstances.
Will Third Parties Receive Your Records?
If there is a dispute as to what records and reports may be disclosed, it may be resolved by a judge of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, and, in some cases, the judge may review the documents privately before making a decision. This is, however, a relatively rare occurrence.
One exception to the full, open disclosure provision is with regard to your employer. Generally, your employer does not have access to the medical information except when limited information may be required to allow a designated individual to assess it to determine whether there may be modified or alternate work available for you that you would be able to perform.
Consult My Firm Before Providing Medical Details
As your attorney, it is my job to protect your rights and interests. At the Law Office of Howard J. Stevens, APC, you can expect that I will only encourage you to provide the information that is necessary for you to receive full care for your work-related injury or illness.
To learn more about trusting your sensitive medical records to insurers and doctors, call our San Diego office at 619-880-4501. You may also schedule a consultation through our website. We want to help you make informed decisions about your workers’ compensation claim and subsequent medical treatment.