As you well know aworkcovervictimsdiary is very hard on workcover insurance companies and the workcover system. Perhaps we ought to stop picking on the insurance companies, the various claims people and processes, and even the Independent Medical Assessors (IMEs). Well, let’s try and think outside the box and ask ourselves how we could improve some processes. This article covers some random thoughts and recommendations to improve the IME process.
Empowering injured workers | Exposing the workcover conspiracy
As we posted earlier, the SA Government is planning to overhaul of its “buggered” WorkCover SA scheme, which is set to come into effect from 1 July 2015. Whilst we have not seen the full (and fine) details of the reforms, we know already that just about every SA injured worker will be adversely affected by the changes. Here is an overview of the main proposed changes.
In most Australian jurisdictions (states and territories), the American Medical Association Guides (AMA Guides) are the accepted assessment tool for injured workers’ permanent impairment rating. The problem with many AMA Guides (especially the older versions in use such as the AMA Guides 4th ed in Victoria) is that the rated impairment does not take into account the impact the impairment has on the injured worker. What should be measured is disability – that is, how the impairment really affects the injured worker.
In wokcover cases, the defense counsel (insurer and their lawyers) has been allowed , for years, to use covert video surveillance to challenge the injured worker’s testimony in court regarding the extent and severity of his/her injuries. Allowing the injured worker to use the same surveillance means to challenge the testimony of a defendant’s chosen doctor (IME) on the same issue by exposing the thoroughness (or often lack thereof) of the IME’s examination of the injured worker should, in our opinion, also be routinely accepted.