Kevin Kampschror, Esq.
It is likely that you will not get a copy of your medical records when
you visit the doctor on your own. Therefore, you may not think it is important
to get a copy of your medical records during your
workers’ compensation (WC) case. Not so! I would recommend that you do get a copy of your medical
records during your WC claim. The reason is you want to know what the
doctor is saying about you, what the records say about your subjective
symptoms (what you are complaining of), and the objective diagnoses. Sometimes,
the medical records may reveal information about outside forces attempting
to steer the doctor’s opinion in one way. The records also may reveal
errors about your injury, which would otherwise go unnoticed if you did
not look at the records. If you are not represented by an attorney, you
may never know any of this information. Lastly, the records may reveal
a more detailed description about the physical examination you received
and what the overall prognosis is.
NAC 616C.120 states that the injured worker has the right to inspect or
obtain his/her health care records pursuant to NRS 629.061. This law allows
the patient to request copies of records from any health care provider.
This also includes any therapist you may have seen. If any medical provider
refuses to give you records and directs you to the insurance company,
they are wrong. However, the medical provider may charge you a copy charge
per page. If you are represented by an attorney, the attorney will pay
that for you.
In addition to the medical records, you will likely be provided with a
Physician Progress Report (PPR) that will give a treatment plan, a very
brief diagnosis, as well as any temporary or permanent work restrictions
you may have that are due to the work injury. The PPR will also provide
you with the date of the next visit. If you are represented by an attorney,
it is imperative that you provide your attorney with a copy of the PPR,
as this is often times the only way the attorney will know what the doctor
has recommended. Medical providers do not provide these things directly
to your attorney! This is a common misconception when injured workers
hire an attorney.
As always, it is advised you seek an experienced Las Vegas workers’
compensation lawyer who is able to assist in obtaining all of the benefits
that you are entitled to under Nevada law.