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Definition of Independent Medical Evaluation

Independent Medical Evaluation, Examination (IME), Independent Medical Examiner are three interrelated terms that have to do with a medical examination and evaluation as a result of that examination, which is performed by a doctor/chiropractor/physical therapist who has not been involved previously in a workers' compensation case. The purpose of the independent medical examination and evaluation is to determine the cause, extent and treatment of a work-related injury where liability is at issue, whether an injured worker has reached maximum benefit from treatment and whether any permanent impairment remains after treatment. Workers' compensation insurance companies and self-insured employers have a right to require you to have an independent medical examination and evaluation. If the person who does the independent medical examination concludes that your injury or illness is not related to a compensable event or you refuse to have the examination, the insurance company may deny your claim and refuse payment.

The independent medical examiner who performs an independent medical examination and makes an independent evaluation that is based on that examination is a licensed doctor or firm whose credentials are approved to conduct an independent medical examination, rating evaluation or provide independent medical examination services that include but are not limited to processing billing, file preparation and scheduling of examinations. The requirements for being an independent medical examiner vary from state to state. Becoming an independent medical examiner involves special training in the areas of conducting the examination, drafts IME reports, defending opinions at depositions and trial, rating impairment, IME practice development and IME practice management.

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