IRE’s & IME’s

Independent Medical Examination

v-dizziness.jpgAn independent medical examination (IME) is usually a one-time examination of an individual by a physiatrist who has not been involved in the person’s care. There is no doctor/patient relationship between the physiatrist and the patient. The IME is conducted in order for the physiatrist to answer questions posed by whatever party is requesting the IME, usually the insurer or employer.

IME’s are conducted to determine the cause, extent and appropriate medical treatment of a work-related or other injury where liability is at issue; to determine whether an individual has reached maximum benefit from the treatment they have received to date; and to evaluate whether any permanent impairment remains after treatment. An IME may be conducted at the request of an employer or an insurance carrier to obtain an independent opinion of the clinical status of the individual. Workers’ compensation insurance carriers, auto insurance carriers, and self-insured employers have a legal right to make this request of the patient.

If after performing the IME the physiatrist concludes that a patient’s medical condition is not related to a compensable event, the insurer may deny the patient’s future claims and refuse payment.

As experts in function, physiatrists are the premier providers of IME’s. Dr. Bernal has demonstrated his competency by obtaining Board Certification by the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners.

Impairment Rating Evaluation

An impairment rating evaluation (IRE) is defined as the acquisition, recording, assessment, and reporting of medical evidence; using a standard method such as described in the American Medical Association (AMA)’s book entitled “The Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment”, Sixth Edition, to determine permanent impairment associated with a physical or mental condition.

There is no doctor/patient relationship between the physiatrist performing the IRE and the patient.

IRE’s are requested on individuals receiving disability or workers’ compensation benefits who have reached maximum medical improvement.