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Workers' Compensation Newsletter

Physicians Reporting Injuries and Illnesses

Sometimes, in Workers’ Compensation cases, a physician fails to make a Physician’s Report or embellishes upon one to help a worker receive benefits while absent from work. In order to combat this type of fraud or carelessness, the United States Department of Labor developed the Attending Physician’s Report. In Workers’ Compensation law, such a report is crucial in determining the amount of compensation.

Determinations of an Attending Physician

An Attending Physician’s Report must be filed before workers can get paid for any lost wages that occurred due to a disability. While the physician report varies among states, the basic requirements must include:

  • History of the illness or injury
  • Evidence of the ailment preexisting prior to work-related illness
  • Physician’s diagnosis
  • Physician’s opinion regarding whether the injury or illness is work-related
  • Period of disability
  • Necessary medical treatments

Worker-Physician Confidentiality

The information found in an Attending Physician’s Report reveals whether the illness or injury is work-related and helps an employer place a worker in a more accommodating work environment. However, medical records are confidential and a physician cannot disclose any information to an employer without the worker’s permission. Additionally, information that does not address the worker’s injury or illness should not be disclosed to anyone.

Attending Physician’s Report Limits Fraud

The attending Physician’s Report also helps to limit fraud by requiring a signature at the end of each report. This certifies that such information is accurate and that the physician understands that any deliberate misrepresentation or concealment of important facts subjects her to a felony criminal charge.

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