Independent Medical Examination (IME)


What is Independent Medical Examination?

An IME is an interpretation performed by a doctor who is not involved in the patient’s care for the purpose of treating job related medical issues. The worker’s compensation insurance carrier has the legal right to request an Independent Medical Examination. Independent Medical Examination determines the medical condition of patient to find out that it is work related or not. If the condition is not work related the insurer can deny the claim and refuse the payment. IMEs are often performed for injured employees to determine the cause, extent and medical treatment of condition or injury.

Why do you require an Independent Medical Examination?

IME is required to resolve the queries about your medical condition or injury. Usually insurance company conducts an Independent Medical Examination because it disagrees with treating doctor’s decision about your extent of any permanent disability or your course of treatment. Sometimes the judge assigned to your case may also order an IME to resolve the disputed related to your case and you may also request an IME if you are not agree with your treating doctor’s decision.

What happens during IME?

Your medical records and documents related to your injuries are shown to the Independent Medical Examiner prior to your examination. The examiner decides that he will review the documents before or after the examination. Then the doctor prepares a report about the current symptoms related to your work related health issue, extent of condition and necessary treatment or surgery.

How the IME affects the case?

IME plays significant role in a case. Hearing officers of your case gives weight to the report prepared by Independent Medical Examiner. The hearing officer also tend to view the examiner as more objective than your treating doctor. That’s why it is hard to degrade the opinion of an IME doctor. In case of any credible mistake or incorrect information about your condition, you may protest the IME report. You can explain it by providing related documentation of your medical records. In this situation you can also request the second medical Examination from another IME doctor.