Mission Hospital Must Pay Fees for Mis-processing North Carolina Workers' Compensation Claims

November 10, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

Mission Hospital — which employs about 6,000 people and has been under the gun for mishandling numerous North Carolina workers’ compensation cases — has been ordered by the NC Industrial Commission to pay penalties for botching employee claims.

North Carolina’s Deputy Commissioner ordered the hospital to remunerate Terry Cawthorn for attorney’s fees and to pay for a sizable percentage of her benefits. Mission has come under fire for violating North Carolina workers’ compensation rules in separate cases. The Court of Appeals and other arbitrators found that Mission had done things like:

• Denied benefits despite ‘overwhelming evidence’ that money should have been paid out to a claimant;
• Failed to authorize payments for medicines for a woman who was so depressed that she had to be sent to a psychiatric ward;
• Hid evidence of an employee who cried at work after returning to her job following an injury;
• Contradicted the findings of the hospital’s own expert in order to deny a claim of psychological trauma.

Mission Hospital released a statement to the effect that the Commission’s sanctions don’t necessarily imply that the hospital admitted fault. However, notably, the hospital has yet to deny allegations that it tried to stop real and valid claims from going through.

More Web Resources:

Asheville CItizen-Times, Mission Hospital audit to look at workers’ compensation program, November 9, 2009

Asheville Citizen-Times, Asheville Mission Hospital workers comp sanctions ‘unusual’, October 31, 2009