The Independent Medical Examination & Washington State L&I


Q: Am I required to pay for the IME?
A: No. L&I covers the costs of the independent medical examination as long as you appear and cooperate with procedures. If you do not attend, and fail to provide good cause, L&I may reduce your time-loss benefits; other benefits may be jeopardized as well.
Q: Who performs the independent medical examination?
A: A doctor will examine you. Sometimes, multiple doctors will participate in the assessment or perform a series of exams.
Q: Can I bring another person to the exam?
A: Yes. However, the accompanying party cannot be paid, nor will L&I reimburse expenses. Companions will not be allowed in the examination room if the patient has been scheduled for a psychiatric examination.
Q: What should I do if I am asked to bring x-rays, MRIs or CT scans to the independent medical examination?
A: If you need help obtaining medical records, contact your primary doctor directly.
Q: What should I expect during the independent medical examination?
A: The IME doctor will generally assess only the conditions that are relevant to your claim, inquire about your medical history, and review information in your claim file. The doctor will not treat you. Independent medical examinations may be brief. In some cases, however, a complete examination including lab tests and x-rays may be required.

Visit the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries for more on Independent Medical Examinations.

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Emery Reddy