H. The Limited Scope of IME Reports in the CA WC System - May 31, 2006

In the California Workers Compensation System, there is no need for an Independent Medical Examiner (IME) to determine if an impairment rating was miscalculated or the AMA Guides was misapplied. The IME process as described by the AMA Guides was not adopted in California and does not replace the expert contribution of both California workers compensation medical and non-medical professionals. There are no Independent Medical Examiners (IME) protocols in the California QME system, nor are there WCAB provisions for their admissibility as evidence.
Who Can Comment on AMA Guide Misapplications? Required skills for determining impairment or critiquing the misapplication of the AMA Guides are not the exclusive venue of medical experts. It is the purpose of the AMA Guides to be used for the consistent and reliable acquisition of medical information, communication and utilization of medical information through a single set of standards. When clinical findings are fully described, any knowledgeable observer may check the findings with the Guides criteria. Nowhere in the AMA Guides are non-medical professionals restricted from its use, application, or interpretation.

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