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Recently, the work comp commissioner had a chance to look inside the double-dealings of the nurse case manager who follow injured workers around and handle medical appointments. If you don't know what we're talking about, consider yourself lucky. If you do know about these nurse case managers... be careful! In the case of Marshall v. Pella Corporation (decided on February 8, 2013), the nurse case manager was caught with her hand deep in the cookie jar. What she did was to write to Pella Corporation suggesting that the worker be sent to a Dr. Prevo so that Dr. Prevo could "put a lid on the whole incident." Wow! You don't have to be a practicing work comp attorney to understand what the nurse was talking about. She was pulling strings, and directing the injured worker to a friendly doctor ... friendly to the insurance company that is! With her hand so deep in the cookie jar, the Commissioner could not ignore the manipulation of the medical treatment. In this case, the Commissioner ruled that an injury had taken place. Gamesmanship by the nurse and the work comp insurance company no doubt played a big part in this result. Not every worker will be fortunate enough to have the nurse case manager leave such an obvious sign of tampering in the record. This case illustrates the problem with the employer being able to pick the treating doctor. All they have to do is pick allegedly neutral doctors and then innocently claim that they have no idea why the neutral doctor would work so hard to defeat the claim. This is an example of good investigation, and the damage done by nurse managers who play games. Call if you suspect your nurse case manager is playing games. 515-224-4400

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Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P.

Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P.
1415 Grand Ave.
West Des Moines, IA 50265

Phone: 515-421-8825
Fax: 515-223-4121
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