A narrative request is a formal letter sent by your Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney to your treating physician requesting that he or she issue a “causation report” on your work-related condition. A causation report is issued by your attorney, asking your doctor to explain why in his or her medical opinion that he or she believes this condition arises out of the course and scope of your employment.
A narrative request will also ask the doctor to opine to any permanent partial disability (PPD) to which you are entitled. Your doctor will assign you a permanency rating under the Minnesota workers’ compensation PPD schedules based on lack of use or function due to your work-related condition. In his or her narrative report the doctor will also determine if you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI signifies that you have reached a plateau in your treatment. You are not necessarily healed or restored to your pre-injury condition but you are not expected to decline or make a substantial improvement in your condition. A permanent partial disability rating cannot be assigned until you reach MMI since the PPD rating reflects a permanent loss of use or function. Once you have reached MMI as determined by the physician, you must be served with the report under Minnesota Statute §176.101, subdivision 3e.
A narrative request differs from a Healthcare Provider Report. A Healthcare Provider Report (HCPR) simply asks the doctor to assign a PPD rating and opine as to whether you have reached MMI. An insurance adjuster may also send your doctor a HCPR. The provider is also not allowed to charge for report pursuant to statute. While a provider will charge for the time associated with reviewing your case and writing a causation narrative report. This report may cost $500 to upwards of $3,000 depending on the complexity of the case. This cost will be paid up-front by your work comp attorney, who will then be reimbursed by the employer and insurer upon a successful resolution of the case.
The narrative request will include a summary of your pertinent medical history collected from your medical records. This summary will set forth the foundation or basis for which your physician had the evidence and information upon which to make a medical opinion. You should disclose to your workers’ compensation attorney every provider from which you have sought treatment for your condition, even pre-existing conditions. If this information is not included, the employer and insurer will have a basis on which to discredit your doctor’s medical opinion. The narrative request will further describe the mechanism of your injury and if necessary for a Gillette, or repetitive motion type injury, a detailed description of your job duties.
The narrative request will also include a set of questions for your doctor to answer, including PPD ratings and MMI determinations as discussed above. The doctor will also be asked to issue restrictions if appropriate, describe surgeries or recommended treatment and the basis for the recommendations, and if the past treatment was reasonable and necessary to cure or relieve the effects of the work-related injury.
Frequently, employees become frustrated at the length of time a workers’ compensation claim takes in the State of Minnesota. Unfortunately, providers take time to respond to requests for medical records, which need to be summarized before a narrative request is sent to the treating physicians. Additionally, it can take months for the doctors to respond to the narrative request due to the time involved in writing a report.
At Meuser Law Office, P.A. we’ve successfully represented hundreds of police officers, firefighters, deputy sheriffs, corrections officers, and State Patrol officers throughout the State of Minnesota for workers’ compensation, PERA/MSRS disability, healthcare continuation, and personal injury claims. We can explain what rights you have and make recommendations to you in terms of how to best protect your rights to those benefits. The knowledgeable attorneys at Meuser Law Office, P.A. will help make the process easier to navigate. Contact us today at 877-746-5680 for a free, no-obligation consultation.