MEMORANDUM NO. 2000-02
Furnishing of IME Reports
|TO:||Commissioners, District Administrators, Self-Insureds, Insurance Carriers, Attorneys, Unions, Medical Practitioners, and Advisory Board Members|
|FROM:||John A. Mastropietro, Chairman|
|DATE:||March 22, 2000|
|RE:||Furnishing of IME Reports|
In the course of pursuing workers’ compensation benefits a claimant may be asked to submit to an examination by a physician other than the physician with whom the claimant treats. As you all know, such examiners are generically referred to as independent medical examiners [IME’s]. So important is the examination of a claimant and review of his/her medical care by the IME, that the Workers’ Compensation Act provides very strong incentives so as to assure a claimant’s appearance before an IME. Most notably the Act provides that a claimant must submit to examination by an IME and failure to appear will result in suspension of the claimant’s benefits during the period of refusal.
But just as there are obligations imposed on the claimant, obligations also extend to the IME physician. The IME physician must furnish medical reports within 30 days of completion and must provide a copy to both the employer (or its insurer) and to the employee (or his or her attorney, if the claimant has legal representation).
I bring this to your attention as I have received complaints that some IME’s are either not providing reports at all or are not providing them within the 30 days of completion to claimants or their attorneys unless requested. Sec. 31-294f(b) provides: "All medical reports concerning any injury of an employee sustained in the course of his employment shall be furnished within thirty days after the completion of the reports, at the same time and in the same manner, to the employer and the employee or his attorney."
I do hope this memo clears up any misunderstandings regarding when IME reports must be provided to the parties.