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TexLaw
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4083
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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My employer just hired an outside firm to "manage" their health

Resolved Question:

My employer just hired an outside firm to "manage" their health care benefits, specifically anyone that enters into the Short term sickness program is required to work through this outside firm to insure proper benefits and required government communications are transmitted such as FMLA documents.
One of the first things this firm wants people to do is sign a power of attorney so that they can contact their medical provider for all treatment , diagnosis, ect.... I do not want to do this and I am curious if I agree to furnish this information directly to my company's medical division can I be forced by them to release my medical records to this outside firm. I am really not comfortable with this.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Thank you for your question.

We must first start from the understanding that many medical benefits are provided by the employer not as a requirement of law, but as a job perk. Accordingly, the employer may seek disclosure of otherwise private information in exchange for providing the job perk. In your situation, you have agreed previously to release this type of information to your company's medical division in exchange for them providing you with medical benefits. The same quid pro quo applies when the company outsources this function to the third party management company. Thus, if you want to continue with the benefits, the release of information may be necessary.

Even when we are looking at your rights under the FMLA, the employer has the right to designate a third party to handle these matters.

In short, the company's decision to outsource requires you to disclose to the outside firm.

That being said, you stated that third party management company wants you to sign a "power of attorney." I find this troublesome as a simple HIPPA release seems like it would do the trick. Why does the third party need your power of attorney?

I look forward to hearing back from you.

-ZDN

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have not seen this document only been told of it. I feel the same way I am not comfortable with the power of attorney document if in deed that is what it is. I will need to follow-up with this.


Nevertheless you answered the my main question.


Thanks.

Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome.

Please go ahead and rate my answer so that I may be compensated for my work on your question. This will not prevent you from writing me back to talk more about the document once you get a copy of it.

I appreciate your business.

ZDN

TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4083
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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