Reports and Forms – Time Frames for Completion
A physician may receive requests to complete a medical report or form from a patient’s lawyer, insurance company or employer.
Assuming you can complete the report or form, how quickly must you do so?
If the medical report or form is requested by:
- A lawyer, please refer to Medical Reports Requested by Lawyers
- A private insurance company, please refer to Medical Reports for Insurance Companies
- WCB or MPI, please refer to WCB/MPI
In one court decision, a Judge ruled there was an undue delay on the part of a physician in completing and submitting a medical report required for life insurance. The delay resulted in the patient’s estate being disentitled to the life insurance proceeds. The physician was responsible to the patient’s estate for the amount of the policy. (CMPA ultimately paid this amount).
So, how long is “undue delay”?
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba has suggested in the past that 30 days is a reasonable time to respond to a request made by a lawyer for a medical report, unless you make alternate arrangements. However, the College does not publish guidelines for completion of documents such as insurance, disability or other medical reports or forms.
The time it takes a physician to complete a medical report or form should ultimately be based on the nature and complexity of the information requested and if an examination is required. Absent of any unusual or special circumstances, however, the time should generally be 30 days.
Unable to respond in that time?
Notify the requesting party, including the reason for the delay and when you expect to provide the report or form.