If you've been the recipient of a workers' compensation claim or another insurance claim, there may be a time when you're asked to complete an IME, or independent medical exam. This is an exam conducted by a doctor who contracts with the insurer. Their goal is to confirm the diagnosis and test results provided by your own doctor. So, how do you prepare for an IME? Here are four key steps to follow.
1. Avoid activities that would suggest you're not injured.
Maybe your back feels better these days, and you're excited to get back to soccer games. Or perhaps your leg is feeling strong and you're excited to take a walk around the block. Unfortunately, it is best to avoid activities that would suggest you're not injured before your IME. If you participate in these activities and accidentally undo your healing progress, the IME doctor could note that, and it could threaten your insurance claim.
2. Review your medical records.
Gather any reports from doctors and other medical practitioners who you have seen since you made the claim. Review these reports so you know exactly what they say, how your diagnosis was worded, and what tests have been done. This way, if the IME doctor asks any questions, you will be able to answer them in a way that accurately reflects your medical records. Note that the IME doctor will have access to your medical records prior to your visit, and they will have reviewed them thoroughly.
3. Write out an account of your injury.
The IME doctor will likely ask you how you were injured. They want to confirm that the symptoms they see are consistent with what you say happened. Writing out your account of how the injury occurred prior to your visit will give you a chance to review any details and make sure you include all of the most important points.
4. Consider your goals.
The IME doctor may ask you what your goals are as far as healing. Think about this, and perhaps do a little research on typical outcomes for your injuries. Your goal may be to return to full health, but in the case of more serious injuries, it may be simply to walk again or to regain the use of your arm.
An IME can be a bit of an annoyance, but it is a necessary step when you receive many insurance benefits. Prepare via the steps above, and you'll be ready.
Contact a professional for more information about independent medical evaluations.