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Pulling Back the Curtain on Independent Medical Examinations 2023

Product ID: CA3571W
Presented By: State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE

This program is an excerpt from the 46th Annual Worker’s Compensation Update.

Demystify independent medical exams 

Wisconsin law permits insurance companies and self-insured employers to ask injured workers to undergo reasonable examinations by a health care provider. These examinations, called independent medical examinations (IMEs), are then used to determine compensability, the necessity and type of treatment, and whether the worker has a permanent disability or loss of earning capacity. 

Because the insurer or self-insured employer chooses and pays for the examiner, plaintiffs sometimes feel these exams are not so “independent” after all. Yet the defense has a real need to determine the nature and extent of the injuries. This conflict can make an IME one of the most emotionally charged and contentious issues in personal injury and worker’s compensation cases.

Let’s clear it up

At Pulling Back the Curtain on Independent Medical Examinations, representatives from the IME industry join representatives of the applicant and defense bar for a frank discussion on IMEs. Following the IME process from initial request to examination, our panel will help answer your questions, such as:

  • How can you tell an IME is objective?
  • Can “observers” be present, or can an IME appointment be recorded?
  • Can an insurance carrier make an out-of-state worker return to Wisconsin for an IME?
  • What happens if an injured worker is a no show or refuses to submit to an exam?
  • Is an injured worker who missed work for an IME entitled to reimbursement?
Read More ↓

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OnDemand seminar

Pricing

Member $99.00

Non-Member $149.00

Credits

1 CLE

Date and Time

Friday, September 29, 202312:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Add to Calendar 9/29/2023 12:00:00 PM 9/29/2023 1:00:00 PM America/Chicago Pulling Back the Curtain on Independent Medical Examinations 2023

This program is an excerpt from the 46th Annual Worker’s Compensation Update.

Demystify independent medical exams 

Wisconsin law permits insurance companies and self-insured employers to ask injured workers to undergo reasonable examinations by a health care provider. These examinations, called independent medical examinations (IMEs), are then used to determine compensability, the necessity and type of treatment, and whether the worker has a permanent disability or loss of earning capacity. 

Because the insurer or self-insured employer chooses and pays for the examiner, plaintiffs sometimes feel these exams are not so “independent” after all. Yet the defense has a real need to determine the nature and extent of the injuries. This conflict can make an IME one of the most emotionally charged and contentious issues in personal injury and worker’s compensation cases.

Let’s clear it up

At Pulling Back the Curtain on Independent Medical Examinations, representatives from the IME industry join representatives of the applicant and defense bar for a frank discussion on IMEs. Following the IME process from initial request to examination, our panel will help answer your questions, such as:

  • How can you tell an IME is objective?
  • Can “observers” be present, or can an IME appointment be recorded?
  • Can an insurance carrier make an out-of-state worker return to Wisconsin for an IME?
  • What happens if an injured worker is a no show or refuses to submit to an exam?
  • Is an injured worker who missed work for an IME entitled to reimbursement?
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This program is an excerpt from the 46th Annual Worker’s Compensation Update.

Demystify independent medical exams 

Wisconsin law permits insurance companies and self-insured employers to ask injured workers to undergo reasonable examinations by a health care provider. These examinations, called independent medical examinations (IMEs), are then used to determine compensability, the necessity and type of treatment, and whether the worker has a permanent disability or loss of earning capacity. 

Because the insurer or self-insured employer chooses and pays for the examiner, plaintiffs sometimes feel these exams are not so “independent” after all. Yet the defense has a real need to determine the nature and extent of the injuries. This conflict can make an IME one of the most emotionally charged and contentious issues in personal injury and worker’s compensation cases.

Let’s clear it up

At Pulling Back the Curtain on Independent Medical Examinations, representatives from the IME industry join representatives of the applicant and defense bar for a frank discussion on IMEs. Following the IME process from initial request to examination, our panel will help answer your questions, such as:

  • How can you tell an IME is objective?
  • Can “observers” be present, or can an IME appointment be recorded?
  • Can an insurance carrier make an out-of-state worker return to Wisconsin for an IME?
  • What happens if an injured worker is a no show or refuses to submit to an exam?
  • Is an injured worker who missed work for an IME entitled to reimbursement?
Read More ↓

Kristin S. Bruess is a shareholder in the Milwaukee office of Kasdorf, Lewis & Swietlik, S.C. where her focus practice area is worker’s compensation defense. She represents insurance carriers and self-insured employers in all aspects of the worker’s compensation process, including administrative hearings, appeals, and third-party liability matters. She also represents employers with regards to uninsurable penalty claims including safety violations, refusal to rehire, and bad faith. Kristin is a 2005 graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law. During law school, she interned with the United States Attorney’s Office and Lake County Superior Court. She was also active in Valparaiso’s Civil Law Clinic. 

Roland C. Cafaro practices worker’s compensation litigation at Cafaro Law Offices, S.C., in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is a 1988 graduate of Creighton University where he earned a Bachelor of Science, cum laude, in Biology and a 1991 graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Law. Prior to starting his own firm, Mr. Cafaro was a shareholder at the Milwaukee law firm of Halling & Cayo, S.C., and prior to that served as a member of the trial counsel team for EBI Companies and Royal & SunAlliance. He has served on the State Bar of Wisconsin Professionalism and Lawyer Dispute Resolution Committees and co-authored the State Bar Lawyer Dispute Resolution Program. He is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Bar Association. Mr. Cafaro has lectured on behalf of The State Bar of Wisconsin, The University of Wisconsin School of Law, Maryville College, PESI, NBI, Wisconsin Safety Council, and numerous employer and trade groups throughout Wisconsin. 

David Crawford operates Crawford Evaluation Group, a medical legal consulting firm based in Waukesha. CEG provides a diverse panel of physicians for our referral community including worker’s compensation and civil jurisdictions. David joined this niche industry in 1996. It is the mission of Crawford Evaluation Group to break the stigma of adverse medical opinions and provide truly independent reports that stand the test of scrutiny in the litigation setting. He serves as the Vice President of the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Forum. Other interests include serving on three additional nonprofit boards: Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation, NAMI Southeastern Wisconsin, and The Uplift Network. Hobbies include competitive baseball, tennis and pickleball. 

Charles F. Domer exclusively practices Wisconsin workers’ compensation law, representing only injured workers. His advocacy earned him recognition in Wisconsin Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. He is co-author of West’s treatise Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Law. Charlie regularly makes presentations on worker’s compensation topics for other lawyers and students. He is a founding Board member of Kids’ Chance of Wisconsin, a non-profit providing scholarships for the children of seriously injured workers. Charlie’s educational allegiance is to the Badgers, receiving his B.S. and J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Become familiar with the process of obtaining an IME, from request to examination to report
  • Hear strategies for managing claimants who refuse or delay submitting to an exam
  • Be ready to address potential issues with recording the IME examination
  • Know how to assess the objectivity of medical experts who represent defendants or applicants
  • Obtain honest, reasonable, and defensible reports from medical experts
  • Personal injury attorneys
  • Worker’s compensation attorneys
  • Insurance defense attorneys 
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