Use A Medical Advisor To Maximize Value of Independent Medical Exam

Use A Medical Advisor To Maximize Value of Independent Medical Exam A company medical advisor can be one of the most effective tools for reducing workers’ compensation costs as there is often a need to address specific health issues in regard to an injured employee’s case.



Leverage Medical Advisor for Independent Medical Exams (IME)


An example is leveraging your company’s medical advisor regarding an Independent Medical Exam (IME). Follow these steps:


  1. Accompany your adjuster’s letter with a signed cover letter from the medical advisor or director. Doing so results in more comprehensive and conclusive independent medical evaluation and examination (IMEs) reports.
  2. Be sure to include claim number and all relevant addresses and contact information on the letter.
  3. Welcome the physician to ask questions.



Be sure to ask the independent medical evaluation physician (IME) to answer the following questions or types of example questions:


  1. What is the patient’s present diagnosis and work status since it is X months since the original injury?
  2. Has s/he achieved maximal result?
  3. Can s/he perform the job as a painter (or whatever is the usual work task)?
  4. Specifically, please address whether s/he would have difficulty simply walking on a flat surface and going up and down a ladder?
  5. Since the latter involves flexion and extension of the ankle, would the lateral sprain affecting primarily pronation and supination really interfere with performance?
  6. If the worker uses an ankle support, would it be sufficient to allow work performed as a painter?


For example, this may be necessary when documentation states:  “Patient may have trouble walking.”  and your company needs to know how long the worker can walk for, at what inclination and duration.  These specifics can be determined by the independent medical examiner but may require some slight prodding to get documented.



Medical Advisor Often Overlooked


As part of an overall workers’ compensation cost-control program, hiring a medical advisor to work proactively on claims is an important, but often overlooked step.




Author Michael Stack, Principal, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder & lead trainer of Amaxx Workers’ Comp Training Center. .



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