Protecting Yourself in the IME Process: Make Lists and Take Notes
In our series of suggestions for handling an Independent Medical Examination (“IME”), we have already discussed getting a disability insurance attorney involved, knowing the disability policy requirements, and completing the intake forms. Here are today’s tips:
Make lists and bring them to the IME doctor. Don’t be afraid to bring information with you to help answer questions from the IME doctor. Some examples are a timeline of your symptoms—i.e., when they started, when they got worse, etc.—or a list of all your medications so you don’t accidentally forget one. If you have photos or videos showing certain injuries or symptom flare-ups, consider bringing those along as well.
Take notes. This will make sure that your recollection of the IME is recorded along with the doctor’s recollection. Your notetaking should start when you arrive at the IME provider’s office, as your time in the waiting room is often part of the final IME report.
For instance, IME doctors will often report something like, “The patient sat for half an hour before my exam completing the paperwork without any apparent discomfort.” If you take notes before the IME to memorialize how long you sat in the waiting room, if anyone was watching you fill out the paperwork, if you had to stand to stretch, etc., you will be able to show the insurance company whether the doctor’s statement is accurate.
If possible, take notes during the IME as well, so that you can remember exactly what testing was performed and what types of questions were asked.
When you leave the IME, take a few minutes to immediately jot down your impressions and any issues you think you need to follow up on with your disability insurer or attorney.