Q: On my last visit with my doctor, I was told that my claims manager in Olympia had called and visited with my doctor about the treatment that I am going through right now. Does the Department of Labor and Industries have the right to speak directly with my own doctor?
A: Because they are deemed to be the “trustee” of the accident fund, the Department of Labor and Industries, by statute, has the right to discuss your treatment, medical history, prognosis, etc., with your physician. By statute, when a person files a worker’s compensation claim, they waive their patient/physician privilege. Up until recently, there was no such waiver in a personal injury setting. There are currently efforts underway by the insurance lobbying interests to change this. Learn more about workers’ compensation claims.