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  1. #1
    wlifred Guest

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    I'll try to keep this as short as possible.
    I reported injury in November of 2003 and finally diagnosed with CTS by companies doctor in January of 2004 and referred to an orthopedic doctor. Orthopedic Dr. reported to IC in February of 2004 I had Bilateral CTS. Surgery was performed on right had in March of 2004. I was released back to full duty 3/15/04. In May 2004 I went to work at a new company (which did not require a pre-employment physical) because the company I was working for was going out of business. In September of 2004 it was found by Orthopedic DR. that my right hand was worse and required surgery again and that my left hand now required the surgery as well. I scheduled an appointment with the original DR. I saw for a consultation to discuss results of the test that showed my hands were worse so I would be assured that the second surgery to the right hand would be of help. Went for appointment and the nurse and DR. gave me a hassle saying I needed to reschedule because this required a 1/2 hour appointment and she had only set up a 1/4 hour appointment. I told them I had explained to the receptionist what I wanted when I had set up the appointment so I declined setting up new appointment. The WC IC hired a lawyer and started blaming the continuation of problems on my new employer. I hired an attorney to try to settle this matter. In December I went to a second Orthopedic DR. in the same office as the first to discuss my CTS and get his opinion as to whether a second surgery on the right hand would be of benifit or not. I made the decission that it would and this DR would perform the further required surgeries after we found which WC IC was responsible. In his office notes from the appointment he stated I had no synovitis, no swelling, excellent circulation, and unrestricted range of motion to wrist and hand. In the PLAN section of his notes he stated, no intervention today. Request authorization from IC for open exploration of the right carpal canal. He did not put me under any restictions. In the mean time in February of 2005 I was offered a position at an employer closer to where I live and accepted their offer. After I accepted their offer they said they would need me to take a pre-employment physical. Being I wasn't under any restictions though I still require further sugery I did not anticipate any problems.
    The DR that performed the pre-employment physical was the same DR that I went to when I reported my injury. He told the potential employer they should not hire me because my treating DR would not supply a note stating there were no restictions on the use of my hands. The potential employer notified me that they would not be able to have me start work on 3/14/05 as planned due to my failling this. Within two weeks I applied, received and accepted a job offer from a second company, accepted and given a start date of 4/4/05. As well they required a pre-employment physical. They scheduled it with the same DR. office. This time it was the same nurse but a different DR performing the physical. She stated that I would need a release note from my treating DR. as well. I received a call from the employer stating they would not be able to hire me because my DR would not supply the required note. Both times my treating DR was contacted for this requirement he declined to provide this saying it was not required because he did not have me on restrictions. I informed my attorney and the he informed the state WC office of what had happened. The end of March I went for an IME and on 4/5/05 the state found that the original WC IC where the injury occurred was responsible for further medical treatment but I was out of work do to my own doing and she could not tell the IC to pay me lost wages. It has been a month since my attorney has requested an update of medical opinion from my treating DR and a copy of any pre-employment evaluations performed by the doctors ofices for the potential employers. He has had no reply from either office. I have spent countless hours researching WC cases to see if there are any like mine to no avail. I can't seem to find any WC rules, State Laws, or Federal Laws that this situation falls under.Sorry this is so long. I would appreciate any help as to where I can get answers to the following questions. I have talked with the EEOC, the US Department of Labor, the State DOL and have sent an email requesting answers from the State WC division. The later of which I have not heard back from yet.

    1) Does a person with my present medical condition that was released to full duty on 3/15/04, had a second opinion performed and switched his care to that doctor for the next surgery require a release note?

    2)Does a company's (evaluating) examining physician have a right to require such a release note from the applicants treating physician (Orthopedics) in my medical condition even though the applicant is not under restrictions at the time?

    3) Does a treating physician (Orthopedic) have the right not to reply to the request for a release note for a person in my medical condition?

  2. #2
    pooh Guest

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    sounds like you may want to talk to an attorney that deals with labor law.

    As for the physicals, you can actually get copies of them yourself - go there and request to sign a release of information - and request those along with all medical records, computer, hand written notes, testing result and list all doctors names on it if you have to - or just list the ortho clinich since they all work in the same clinic.

    My question would be - did the doctors doing the physicals violate your rights under HIPAA by releasing information about your condition withour your knowledge - that is if you hadn't told them or the dr about the on going treatment for CTS.

  3. #3
    wilfred Guest

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    Pooh,
    I appreciate the help. I will see if I can locate an attorney that deals with labor law.
    My attorney did supply the clinic with an updated release of information signed by me but I will go to the office and request another to fill out and see if they will provide the info to me.

    As for the doctors violating HIPPA the answer I would believe is no. On the questionaire at the clinic before the physical is performed they have the question asking if you have ever had CTS. I answered yes.

  4. #4
    pooh Guest

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    Wilfred

    Well that explains why they were giving that information out - but if you have no restrictions and they need a release saying you are able to do the job - wonder why your ortho isn't giving that information out.

  5. #5
    wilfred Guest

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    Pooh,

    He says I don't require one because he hasn't had me under any restrictions.
    I just sent off an email to the States Attorney General to see if he can get me some answers.

  6. #6
    pooh Guest

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    Wilfred

    If you look at it from an employers view - what they are asking for is verification that you do not have restrictions at this time - and that you are physically able to do the job. It matters not whether this doctor had restrictions or not - the employer is looking out for you and themselves in this. You - because they want to be sure that you can physically do the job - and them - because if they hire you with you saying no restrictions - (not saying you would lie about it) and then you reinjure yourself for violating those restrictions - they will be liable for wc. Does that make sense. Now no matter what if you reinjure yourself it will be a new claim - they are aware of that - they just want to verify your limitations.

    Maybe what you can do is next time you see him - or maybe you can stop over there - is get a letter saying you have no restrictions and when you apply for jobs - then give them a copy of the letter.

  7. #7
    wilfred Guest

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    Pooh,
    That's just it. My Ortho said he won't supply such a note. He had his nurse tell me he's staying out of it.
    That's why I'm trying to find out the following:

    1) Does a person with my present medical condition that was released to full duty on 3/15/04, had a second opinion performed and switched his care to that doctor for the next surgery require a release note?

    2)Does a company

  8. #8
    pooh Guest

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    Wilfred

    Here is the state statues for VT.

    http://198.187.128.12/vermont/lpext....in.htm&2.0

    Check out Title 21, chapter 5 - I would think them denying you employment based on your disability (even with no restrictions) may be against the ada guidelines

    I can tell you what my former employer did to those that had CTS or other injuries prior to them coming to the plant

    1) If the injury was within the last 7 yrs then they would require medical files of the potential employee prior to offering them a job.

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