This is not like seeing your doctor, for this
doctor is not treating you. He or she is evaluating you independent
of a doctor-patient relationship.
On the other hand, depending on the physician you have, IMEs can provide important insight and guidance which you may not have had up to that time. The IME physician is not supposed to discuss your specific case, and probably needs to complete reviewing the case records and materials later before having an opinion. But they can speak about the problem in general terms, and put specific advice in the report.
It's important to understand that IME's can often affect your medical care, including approval for tests and treatments as well as your disability pay. Therefore they can affect the course of your treatment, affect delays in treatment, and delay or change your reimbursement.
The physician doing the exam may be in the same specialty as your problem, or a related one. It is not uncommon to have several different specialties involved, each with an IME for the problem in their area. For example spine problems may have a chiropractic IME, a neurosurgical IME, and an orthopedic IME if there are considerations from each of those in your treatment.
Try to make the exam setting as favorable as possible. If the exam is distant, ask to have it closer. Driving a long distance is usually hard on you, and may make your exam more difficult. Ask around about your IME physician, and if the information worries you try to have a different IME doctor selected.
Usually you will get the results about IME exams a week or two afterward, as a copy of the report. However, this varies with the type of case (for example workman's compensation versus no fault MVA) and the state rules. If you do not get a copy directly, you may need to contact the insurance company or your case worker, or attorney. Learn those rules.
If an IME exam goes wrong, it can take a lot of time and effort to correct the effect. A further IME may be needed. Or a court hearing may be used, depending on the circumstances. These and other procedures can be delayed while you wait with problems in work or disability classifications, or treatments that you need for weeks, months, and sometimes years.
Example: IME Frustration. Here is a real case,
with several common problems.
It is important to take these exams seriously. Go to them, have your records, and know what is in your records. You need to present a clear and accurate portrayal of your problems and your history. Then read the reports and be sure your doctors work with you to solve any problems or inconsistencies that arise.
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