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Understanding the Independent Medical Examination for PA Workers’ Compensation Benefits

For many injured workers, the independent medical examination (IME) part of the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation process can be very intimidating. Many times far from “independent,” the IME’s purpose is to have a third party healthcare provider evaluate your injury, illness or disability. The Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at Mednick, Mezyk and Kredo are here to help identify some of the key points of an IME to increase the likelihood of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.

Who Performs the IME?

A physician or healthcare provider is hired by your employer or their insurance company. Who selects the physician is based on who is paying out the claim. These physicians have introduced an additional revenue stream to their practice by offering to conduct IMEs.

You May Receive Payment for an IME

You may request payment for your travel to and from the IME. Using mapping software and the national mileage reimbursements, you can petition the insurance company to pay your transportation costs up front. Likewise, you may request transportation from the insurance company. It’s important to remember not to discuss your injury, illness or claim with the driver as they may be able to report back anything you say back to the insurance company.

Important Things to Know About IMEs

You do not enter into a doctor-patient relationship with the physician performing an IME. Anything you state to the healthcare professional is not privileged and similarly, the physician cannot be sued if their diagnosis is wrong. Many times, an array of symptoms can be viewed and diagnosed by physician in completely different ways. Because of this, many individuals in non-legal situations seek out second opinions. It is important to note that IMEs may not always reflect the treatment you are receiving, or the other diagnoses you have received.

As intimidating as the independent medical examination may be, know that your attorney is on your side. Preparation is the key to success. Your attorney will ensure that you are prepared and aware of every step of the examination, ensuring that you are accurately evaluated. The skilled Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys at Mednick, Mezyk and Kredo have the experience necessary to help you be successful with your claim. Call us today at 888-807-WORK (9675) for a free case evaluation.