Healthcare Provider Refuses to Fill Out Medical Certification

I've never come across a situation like this, but I'm sure someone out there has.  We have a standard policy that all employees fill out a medical certification (as most companies do), before obtaining approved FMLA leave.  One of our employees has been trying to obtain the certification for close to a month now.  Yesterday, the employee's healthcare provider flat out refused to fill out the certification.  Short of the employee finding a new healthcare provider, what steps can I take to approve this FMLA request without breaking our policy?  Can our W.C. physician see him and fill out the paperwork?




  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I would not suggest having any company doctor fill out the paperwork if the reason is not work-related.  Because WC and FMLA information is not covered by HIPAA but general medical claims are covered....and I am not sure you want to get into the HIPAA/discrimination issues of knowing more...because the doctor would need to do a full exam, not just fill out FMLA paperwork.

    Instead I would suggest that the employee get a 2nd opinion.


  • The certification is a right of the employer and the employee's obligation to provide.  It is reasonable to tell the employee to see a different healthcare provider of their choice.

    Usually, the employer has no direct contact with the healthcare provider and, therefore, cannot tell if the employee's characterization of events is truthful.  Rather than getting into investigating employees' relationships with their healthcare providers or contacting the provider for a reason that is not specifically allowed under the regs, the best thing to do is tell them they have another 15 days to get the cert from another health care provider.

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