You put your time, energy, and heart into your work every day. It’s how you make your living and support your family. But sometimes, things don’t go as planned, and you get hurt at work.
Now medical bills are mounting, and you’ve lost time at work.
Workers’ compensation benefits help with the financial burdens that go with work injuries.But the insurance company must see your medical records to evaluate your claim for benefits.
Having to disclose such records may sound like an invasion of your privacy. But it is a necessary step to receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
The workers’ compensation medical records disclosure act in Minnesota provides the framework for the release of an employee’s medical records.
In this article, we provide an overview of workers’ compensation and health privacy in Minnesota.
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can outline your workers’ compensation claim from the start, identify applicable laws, and tackle any hurdles to your claim. To get started, contact us today.
Workers’ Compensation in Minnesota
Minnesota law requires employers to have either workers’ compensation insurance or self-insurance. Workers’ compensation benefits cover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages after an accident.
But before insurance companies approve benefits, they want medical documentation of your injuries.
Minnesota Health Privacy Laws
Generally, Minnesota law protects your health privacy. A provider can release your medical records only with your consent.
Workers’ compensation cases are an exception. If you have filed a workers’ compensation claim, a medical provider can release your medical information to your employer, the workers’ compensation insurer, or the Department of Labor without your consent.
But this exception is not absolute. Without your permission, a provider can only disclose medical information directly related to the work injury. A provider cannot release any non-related medical information without consent.
Keep in mind that “related” medical information means more than the records of treatment for your work injury.
Insurance companies stretch the definition of “related.” They want to ensure that a work incident caused the injury you’re claiming benefits for. If the injury was pre-existing, workers’ compensation benefits may not apply. So related medical information may include records of some prior injuries.
For example, if you hurt your back a few years ago while working in your garden and had surgery, the record of your treatment might be “related” to a later claim that you hurt your back at work.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can evaluate whether records truly are related and help protect your health and privacy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are other common questions about workers’ compensation benefits and medical records in Minnesota.
How Long Are Medical Records Kept in MN?
Minnesota law requires providers to keep patient records for at least seven years.
So for medical records disclosure, insurance companies may get some medical records dating as far back as seven years.
Does Workers’ Comp Pay for Time Off for Doctor’s Appointments in Minnesota?
No. Minnesota law does not require employers to compensate employees for time spent at doctor’s appointments.
But workers’ compensation benefits may reimburse the employee for the time off work if it relates to their compensable work injury.
Contact Arechigo & Stokka Now
In law school, Joshua Stokka knew right away that workers’ compensation law was his calling. He has been practicing it for over a decade with compassion and diligence.
Joshua is always available, whether night or day, weekday or weekend. You can count on Joshua to stand by you through this difficult time. He will fight to get your workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact the law office of Arechigo & Stokka for a complimentary case review.
You might also be interested in:
- Can My Employer Contact My Doctor Without My Consent?
- What Happens at a Work Compensation Hearing?
- Is Chiropractic Care Paid For If I am Injured At Work In Minnesota?
- Why Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Might Get Denied in Minnesota
Josh has been representing injured workers for over 10 years. Josh was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, and attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology. Mr. Stokka alson received his law degree from the Hamline University School of Law. During law school, Josh clerked at a Minnesota law firm specializing in personal injury and workers’ compensation. Prior to practicing in the area of workers’ compensation, Josh clerked for a judge in the 7th Judicial District in Minnesota. This valuable experience gave him insight into how judges think, do their jobs behind the scene, and how to frame a case in order to obtain a favorable result. Now, he focuses 100% of his practice on defending injured workers in Minnesota.