Injuries and illnesses impact every workplace sooner or
later. Partnering with an organization that specializes in medical assessment
and disability management can have great benefits for your company and your
insurer. These organizations have expertise in all areas of injury and
disability management, and can provide comprehensive services for you and your
employees, from injury prevention or flu prevention seminars to independent medical exams.
Independent Medical Examinations are evaluations that should
be done when an employee suffers an injury and makes an insurance claim. These
IMEs must follow legislative guidelines, and must be legally defensible. They
are expected to be precise and to use proper language and terminology.
Professionals skilled in writing these types of reports closely monitor changes
in legislation and follow protocols required. Types of reports required may
- Independent Orthopedic Exam. An
orthopedic surgeon will determine if there are valid indicators of
Neurological Exam. Evaluators seek objective evidence of neurological injury
attributable to the accident, and assess whether the injury constitutes an
impairment that would result in a disability. This exam often includes tests
such as EEGs or MRIs.
- Independent Physiatry Exam. This type of
evaluation concentrates on musculoskeletal and soft tissue injuries,
neurological complaints, and pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia. Emphasis in
these reports is placed on therapies that will help aid recovery.
- Independent Medical Exam. This type of
exam is usually conducted by a General Practitioner, and is appropriate when a
specific treatment is suggested by the claimant's physician, yet no evidence of
neurological or orthopedic damage is on file.
- Independent Psychological Exam. This
evaluation, conducted by a licensed psychologist, will examine the psychological
impact of the incident on the employee, and will take into account any
underlying or pre-existing personality features that may cause under or
over-reporting of psychological complaints.
- Independent Psychiatry Exam. A
psychiatrist will examine the employee to see if the incident has led to the
formation of any psychiatric illness or impairment. This involves a detailed
and comprehensive evaluation by a medical doctor specializing in the area of
- Independent Neuropsychological Exam. This
evaluation looks for neurocognitive or behavioural change due to brain injury.
Exams measure cognitive abilities, intellectual functioning, language skills,
visuospatial skills, attention and processing speed, executive functioning,
learning and memory, and motor functions.
- Independent Psychovocational Exam. This
evaluation occurs when an
employee claims disability due to a workplace injury. The evaluation will
look at whether or not the claimant is able to perform his or her usual duties,
and if any pre-existing conditions were present.
- Independent Dental Exam. An oral surgeon
or dentist evaluates complaints of TMJ, "clicking,” or pain to see if their
origin is consistent with having been caused by the incident in question.
- Independent Rheumatological Exam. Evaluators
specialize in the assessment of joints, muscles, connective tissue, soft tissue
surrounding joint and bones, as well as autoimmune disorders. Examples are
arthritis, lupus or other autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal pain disorders
such as fibromyalgia, and osteoporosis.
Information When You Need It
Other independent medical examinations may focus on other
conditions, or on the employee's skills or vocational abilities. Partnering
with a company expert in these types of evaluations can be beneficial to you, and
to your employees.