What is an Independent Medical Examination (IME)?

46dcc-medicalequipOften I get questions from injured workers asking if they have to attend an independent medical examination, otherwise known as an IME.  The quick answer to that questions is — Yes.  The workers compensation insurance carrier is entitled to have an injured worker examined by a doctor of their choosing every six months.   Insurance carriers typically like to refer to these examinations as ‘independent’, hence the name of the examination, however, they are far from independent.   Let’s take a look at a few aspects related to these IME exams.


The insurance carrier may request an IME for several different reasons.  First, they may simply be inquiring as to whether the diagnosis of your treating doctor is indeed correct.  Second, the insurance carrier may be utilizing an IME to get an opinion that certain treatment or surgery is not reasonable or necessary, which gives them cover to begin denying certain medical bills and surgeries.  In essence, they are trying to limit their scope of medical liability.  Third, and most frequent,  they are taking hostile action against you by sending you to an exam in which the IME doctor will either opine that you can work light duty or give an opinion that you are fully recovered, regardless what your treating doctor believes.

Your Response

Quite simple.  Protect your self.  Many times you may feel like your insurance carrier and employer have treated you well through out your work injury.  That may be true.  However, if you receive a notice for an IME examination, all bets are off.  Call Mooney & Associates today to get a FREE CONSULTATION.  If you have been scheduled for an IME, your workers compensation carrier is beginning to take hostile action against your rights.  They may be taking steps to try and suspend or terminate your benefits.  They may be taking steps to begin denying certain procedures, treatment, or future surgeries.  Many times these examinations are schedule because of advice of the insurance carrier’s legal counsel.  You should have legal counsel as well!  An IME is a direct threat to your workers compensation rights and  benefits.

Transportation & Reimbursement

Often times, these examination may be an hour or two away, especially for injured workers living in Central Pennsylvania.  Your workers compensation carrier is responsible for either providing transportation to and from the examination or reimbursing your for mileage.

If you receive a notice for an Independent Medical Examination, don’t hesitate to protect your rights.  Call Mooney & Associates today at 717-632-4656 or 1-877-632-4656 to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION.  We have twelve locations through South Central Pennsylvania to meet you at.   Additionally, for more information, visit us on the Web at http://www.mooney4law.com.   You can also Like our Facebook page to keep up with our firm.