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What is an Independent Medical Review?

By Kenton Koszdin Law Office on March 6, 2013 | In Workers Compensation

Recent changes to California’s workers’ compensation system have affected how benefits are paid and how negative decisions may be appealed. One significant change facing workers injured in 2013 or later involves the use of an independent medical review board (IMR) to handle disputes about medical treatment.

Before the IMR board requirement was put in place, the treatment a doctor recommended might be subject to a “utilization review,” a process that could take weeks or months and could easily delay necessary medical care when an injured person needed it most. If the utilization review rejected the doctor’s recommendations for treatment, the injured worker could request a qualified medical examination (QME) or an agreed medical examination (AME) from another physician.

The new system dispenses with QMEs, and AMEs when a utilization review denies recommended care. Instead, disputes about medical treatment are submitted to an IMR panel, which consists of disinterested members of an independent medical review organization (IMRO). IMRs are available for all injured workers who were injured after December 31, 2012. Starting July 1, 2013, IMRs will be available for all workers, regardless of the date they were injured.

If you’re struggling to obtain the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve, please don’t hesitate to call the experienced southern California workers’ compensation attorneys at the Kenton Kozdin Law Office. We’ve helped hundreds of workers get the benefits they need after an on the job injury. Call us today at (800) 438-7734 for a free and confidential consultation.

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