An independent medical evaluation, or IME, is an assessment designed to provide an objective picture of an individual’s health and current physical condition.
An independent medical evaluation, or IME, is an assessment designed to provide an objective picture of an individual’s health and current physical condition. IMEs are often used in legal proceedings. A patient may be asked to undergo an IME, performed by an Atlanta injury specialist, by their employer, by an insurance agency, or by an attorney after they’ve been in an accident or suffered an injury at work. The IME helps provide documented proof of a need for medical care, insurance benefits, time off work, or other allowances.
An IME is typically performed by a doctor who you do not typically see and is not affiliated with your treating physician, and thus can act as a neutral third party. The evaluation appointment often takes longer than a typical medical appointment, but it gives a complete picture of a patient’s disability status and rehabilitation needs.
When orthopedic doctors in Georgia perform an IME, they will first conduct a comprehensive review of your medical history. First, the doctor will review your medical records and thoroughly discuss your medical history. Even if your IME has been requested due to a condition related to your spine, the doctor will need a comprehensive picture of your medical status, including any issues with digestion, heart or lung problems, skin conditions, or other health problems.
After discussing your medical history, an in-depth physical examination will be conducted. Focusing on the spine, this exam will likely include standardized tests to establish your ability to move, your posture, strength, and more. You may be given an opportunity to add additional comments to the record. Remember that it is important to be up-front and honest about your physical condition during his process.
An IME typically lasts from 1-3 hours, but may run longer, depending on the complexity of the issue being discussed. When scheduling an IME, it is best to plan for it to be significantly longer than a usual physical examination. In order to get an accurate view of your current state, a doctor will not want to rush through this process.
An IME must be performed by an MD who has undergone special training in conducting this type of evaluation. Though doctors of several different specialties are capable of performing IMEs, a physiatrist – also known as a physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) specialist – is
likely the most qualified to correctly evaluate a patient’s condition and treatment needs following an accident or injury.
Though an MD will lead the evaluation, other healthcare providers, such as nurses or physician assistants, may assist with some portions of the assessment. Once all the information from the medical team conducting the evaluation has been compiled, the MD will review the information, interpret the results, and provide a full report.
If you require an independent medical evaluation (IME), call us at (404) 343-2672 to schedule an appointment with our sports injury doctor at our Atlanta clinic.