Injured Workers and Their Own Medical Records
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.