Jeff Nowak quoted in Family and Medical Leave Handbook article regarding Practice of Physicians to Charge for Completion of FMLA Medical Certification FormsFamily and Medical Leave Handbook
Firm partner Jeff Nowak was quoted in the July 2009 edition of the Family and Medical Leave Handbook in an article entitled "Doctors Charging Fees for FMLA Medical Certifications." The article discusses how physicians are increasingly charging fees to complete Family and Medical Leave Act medical certification forms. Both employees and employers can be affected, depending on which party the doctor seeks to charge.
As Mr. Nowak explains, "Doctors are seeing [charging for FMLA medical certification] as a new potential funding source," since it consumes staff time to complete the forms. Still, he notes that employers understandably are frustrated by this recent practice because the form has routinely been completed as part of the service provided to a patient. Nevertheless, Mr. Nowak cautions employers to "tread lightly" when deciding whether they will object to payment of a physician fee for a complete medical certification form. He adds, while employers should handle each situation as it is presented, "employers who routinely balk at paying the fee may end up with partially completed forms, or could wind up spending more in staff resources" than if they simply had paid the fee.
The Family and Medical Leave Handbook, published by Thompson Publications Group, is a comprehensive publication which addresses the complex requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act.