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Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs) provide answers to questions about the medical nature, cause and treatment of medical conditions and injuries. MCN-affiliated physicians perform IMEs nationwide. The physician reviews all appropriate medical records, takes a detailed history, documents patient complaints, and answers the requestor’s questions according to evidence-based, objective medical standards.
Completed after an incident, Early Assessment Examinations establish an initial understanding of situations which may fit the profile of a long-duration injury. This allows for an early, accurate determination on appropriateness of care, further diagnostic testing and predicting longer-term patient needs, setting the groundwork for a medically-appropriate, cost-effective system of treatment. At the time of scheduling for the initial examination, a follow-up evaluation is scheduled so that the case can be closely watched during its preliminary stages.
FCEs are an invaluable tool in providing an objective and complete assessment of an employee’s level of physical functioning. They may also assess a specific diagnosis, physical challenge, or questions on ability to perform the essential functions of a specific job. The results provide valuable additional objective evidence when used in conjunction with an Independent Medical Evaluation.
MCN performs these evaluations for claimants under Short-Term Disability circumstances. In most cases the employee has been out of work beyond the usual scope of the diagnosis, or an estimated return to work date has been frequently extended. An evaluation is performed to evaluate the return-to-work date. Exams also assist in determining a temporary, restricted return to work assignment.
Through this type of Independent Medical Evaluation, MCN works with human resource and claims professionals to determine whether an employee is able to return to the workplace without causing harm to themselves or others. In most cases the employee is not yet under any type of disability program but their behavior in the work place has caused concern and they are placed on temporary leave until an examination can be performed to determine their ability to return.
Third Medical Opinions (TMOs) are requested when there are conflicting reports regarding a specific claim or case between two physicians. These exams are helpful when there are collective bargaining employment groups involved and when it is necessary to make final determinations on a claim.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has provided new challenges for human resource administrators in evaluating an employee’s ability to return to the workplace after a period of leave time. By ordering appropriate independent medical assessments, management can confirm that a leave meets proper medical criteria on an evidence-basis, as well as determine appropriate length of leave and consider alternative return-to-work options.
Compensation and pension managers have a difficult task on their hands defining the financial risk of an individual’s disability on a post-employment basis. Through the use of medical assessments upon an employee’s leaving the workforce, as well as post-retirement assessments, managers can better assess any financial exposure on specific cases while objectively resolving differences of opinion between treating and assessing providers.