Insurance medical exams may seem like regular doctor visits, but these docs are not on your side.
Today’s guest post comes to us from our colleague Matt Funk of New York.
Many times insurance medical examinations are considered by injured employees to be the same as Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs). There is nothing farther from the truth. These examinations are bought and paid for by the insurance company and for their benefit.
The insurance carrier doctor is no friend to an injured worker. He or she is a private consultant paid for by the carrier.
You should be prepared for these examinations by knowing your rights and how to protect them:
1) You have the right right to bring a family member or friend with you to the examination.
You can bring your spouse into the examination room during the examination. This is important because it allows for a witness to testify at court about the validity of the examination and to dispute tests that the doctor claims to have done.
2) You are permitted to audiotape or videotape the examination.
And there is nothing in the law that requires you to tell the insurance company doctor that you intend to tape the examination.
3) You should Continue reading
Today’s wise words come to us from my colleague Roger Moore of Nebraska.
As I have written previously, in Nebraska, you have the right to choose your family doctor to treat you for your work injury. For purposes of the workers’ compensation court, that person becomes your “treating doctor.” However, sometimes an employer or insurance provider selects a non-treating doctor for an “independent medical examination” (IME). According to the workers’ group National Association of Injured & Disabled Workers (NAIDW), IMEs are used for three reasons:
- “to determine the cause, extent and medical treatment of a work-related or other injury where liability is at issue”
- “whether an individual has reached maximum benefit from treatment”
- “whether any permanent impairment remains after treatment”
When an IME is scheduled, this probably means your employer or the insurance company is trying to fight some aspect of your workers’ compensation benefits. An IME doctor frequently bases his or her findings on what is often a very brief visit with a patient. Sometimes they don’t even perform a physical examination before rendering their opinion. Rarely do they issue opinions that are favorable to an injured worker. For that reason, when an examination like this is scheduled, my policy is to Continue reading