04 NCAC 10C .0107          COMMUNICATION

(a)  The insurance carrier shall notify the Commission and all parties on a Form 25N Notice to the Commission of Assignment of Rehabilitation Professional when a rehabilitation professional is assigned to a case and identify the purpose of the rehabilitation involvement.

(b)  At the initial meeting, the rehabilitation professional shall provide the injured worker with a copy of the Rules in this Subchapter, and shall inform the injured worker that the rehabilitation professional is required to share relevant medical and vocational rehabilitation information with the employer and insurance carrier and that the rehabilitation professional may be compelled to testify regarding any information obtained.

(b)  The rehabilitation professional shall timely inform injured workers that the Rehabilitation Professional will share relevant and material information with the employer and insurance carrier and that the Rehabilitation Professional may be compelled to testify regarding any information obtained.

(c)  In cases where the employer is paying medical compensation to a provider rendering treatment under the Workers' Compensation Act, the injured worker, if requested by a rehabilitation professional, shall sign a Form 25C Authorization for Rehabilitation Professional to Obtain Medical Records of Current Treatment authorizing the rehabilitation professional to obtain records of the current treatment.

(d)  The rehabilitation professional shall provide copies of all correspondence and reports contemporaneously to all parties by the same mode of transmission.

(e)  In preparing written and oral reports, the rehabilitation professional shall present only information relevant and material to the worker's medical rehabilitation and vocational rehabilitation and shall make every effort to avoid invasion of the worker's privacy.

(f)  The rehabilitation professional shall make periodic written reports documenting accurately and completely the substance of all activity in the case, including rehabilitation activity.  The rehabilitation professional shall furnish a worker who is unrepresented by counsel with a copy of each periodic report, or, in the alternative, the rehabilitation professional shall advise the worker either orally or in writing (at least as often as reports are produced) as to the plan for and progress of the case, and that the worker has the right to request a copy of the reports under 04 NCAC 10A .0607.

(g)  Frequency and timing of periodic reports shall be determined at the time of referral and shall depend on the type of service provided. Communication of activity to all parties by telephone, facsimile, electronic media, or letter must occur when information relevant to the rehabilitation process is obtained, changes or revisions are recommended or occur in medical or vocational treatment plans, or on any other occasion when the worker's understanding and cooperation is critical to the implementation of the rehabilitation plan.

(h)  If requested by the injured worker or his or her attorney, the initial meeting of the injured worker and rehabilitation professional shall take place at the office of the worker's attorney and shall occur within 20 days of the request.

(i)  The rehabilitation professional may coordinate activities with the injured worker's attorney, and, at the employer or carrier's discretion, with the defense attorney.

(j)  If the rehabilitation professional believes the injured worker is not complying with the provision of rehabilitation services, the rehabilitation professional shall detail in writing the actions that the rehabilitation professional believes the injured worker is required to take to return to compliance.  In determining whether the injured worker is in compliance with the provision of rehabilitation services, the rehabilitation professional shall rely on his or her independent professional judgment and training and shall focus on the overall effect that the worker's actions or inactions are having on the rehabilitation goals.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 97-25.4; 97-25.5, 97-32.2, 97-2(19), 97-80;

Eff. January 1, 1996;

Amended Eff. November 1, 2014; June 1, 2000.