The short answer is, “be careful.”
In many workers’ compensation claims, an insurance adjuster hires someone called a nurse case manager, or NCM. The workers’ compensation insurance adjusters claim that the purpose of the NCM is to help coordinate doctor appointments or work as a go-between with the adjuster and the injured worker.
Simply put, it’s important to remember where the NCM’s paycheck comes from: the insurance company.
Often times, however, the NCM will attempt to direct you to doctors that might not be in your best interest for treatment purposes, or direct you to doctors that are well-known to release patients back to work before they’re ready. Similarly, the NCM will attempt to influence your doctors into signing reports that may be detrimental to your workers’ compensation claim, or worse: your health.
Even the Supreme Court of Nebraska has stated that NCMs hired by the insurance companies are not considered a benefit to the injured employee.
Simply put, it’s important to remember where the NCM’s paycheck comes from: the insurance company. Consequently, a good “result” for a NCM (released back to work with no additional medical treatment) might not be a good “result” for you. So be careful. Just because your NCM claims that he or she is acting in your best interest, that may not actually be true.