WCD Reviewing Rules Pertaining to IME’s and WRME’s
The WCD held a meeting to take public comment on the administrative rules related to Independent Medical Exams (IME’s) and Worker Requested Medical Exams (WRME’s).
Some of the more lively discussions centered around whether IME providers should be required to produce their report within a certain time frame with claimants’ attorneys arguing medical treatment, time-loss benefits, and permanent impairment can be all be delayed pending these reports. We provided ample testimony that the current rules were adequate to address these concerns.
The majority of the rules discussed pertain to the medical providers’ licensing and training. These discussions focused on confirming the WCD’s ability to sanction or remove an IME provider from the approved list of providers is consistent with the statutes. The discussion also led to whether IME providers should be required to participate in continuing education to maintain their status as an approved IME provider.
The WCD will review the testimony and draft proposed rule changes in January or February 2019. The public will have another opportunity to comment on the more specific draft rules before they ever go into effect.
It was not that long ago the claimants’ attorneys put forward several legislative proposals aimed at reducing the number of IMEs allowed and/or limiting the employer/insurer’s ability to select the provider. These proposals could surface again next legislative session.
If you have any questions or concerns about these topics, or IME/WRME’s generally, please contact me via email or by telephone at (503) 595-2130.