Quality assessments - timely reporting
What is an Independent Medical Evaluation?

Posted on November 10th, 2014 by Don Kunkel

shutterstock_191016173Are you the party requesting an independent medical evaluation? Or are you the individual who will undergo the exam? Both parties have a lot of questions about the process—here are the answers to the common questions:

What is an Independent Medical Evaluation?

An independent medical evaluation (also referred to as an independent medical examination or IME) is an objective, third-party medical exam. An IME can be requested by insurance companies, benefits providers, HR managers, lawyers, or employers. In any case, an independent medical evaluation is conducted when an individual has been injured and requires third-party documentation to confirm the extent of their injuries. The IME report is often used to confirm or deny benefits, coverage, or settlements to the individual and the report can also provide steps for safe return to work procedures for employers to follow.

Who Organizes an IME?

An IME company will organize and manage the independent medical evaluation process from start to finish. The client (ex. insurer) will contact the IME company to manage the IME for an individual examinee. The IME company is responsible for finding objective, highly-qualified physicians that are within the examinee’s geographical location.

The IME service company will prepare and obtain the medical reports from the physician and provide them safely and securely to the client.

Who Conducts an IME?

IMEs can only be conducted by a health care provider who has completed IME training and has been identified as authorized IME provider. The physician will include your medical history in the report but they cannot have a previously existing patient-doctor relationship with the examinee.

What Can You Expect from the Examination?

The purpose of the evaluation is for the physician to assess your medical symptoms related to your accident, injury, or illness. The doctor will evaluate your ability to function and respond physically and/or mentally to various tasks. They may make recommendations or restrictions on your ability to perform daily activities at home, work, and in recreation.

The examining physician will conduct the exam objectively and with respect for all parties involved. The examiner will conduct routine procedures such as confirming your identity, stating the party that requested the IME, and they will explain the procedures and reporting that will occur during the exam. The examiner will also be able to answer any questions you have before and during the medical exam.

How Do You Prepare for an IME?

The examinee can prepare for their independent medical exam by collecting any x-rays or specialist reports; these should be presented to the examiner. It’s important that the examinee has a meal before their exam (some exams can take several hours to complete.) It’s a good idea wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing, and flat shoes and bring a t-shirt and shorts to change into for physical examinations. The examinee can bring a companion or partner to the medical exam but it is recommended that the individual make arrangements for child care for the day of the evaluation.

Review Independent Medical Evaluations: How to Prepare and What to Expect, for additional information.

About Don Kunkel

I am the President of AssessMed, a company that specializes in providing unbiased, evidence-based medical assessments and file reviews. I have over 25 years of experience, and many years of leadership in the insurance industry, working as an insurance adjuster and representative before moving into the Independent Medical Evaluation area in 2001. The continued success of AssessMed relies on our focus and dedication to our clients; adjusters, legal professionals, and HR consultants all of whom have very different requirements. We pride ourselves on our commitment to exceptional customer service to help make the process simpler for every individual involved.
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