WorkSafe Victoria (WorkSafe) regularly “review the quality” of Reports obtained from Independent Medical Examiners (IMEs) through what is called the Quality Assurance Program (QAP). Although theoretically a “reassuring” program, don’t be fooled!
A word about WorkSafe Vic IME Quality Assurance Program
WorkCover has a so-called IME “Quality Assurance Program”, which is supposedly a rigorous program. Don’t be fooled! This IME “Quality Assurance Program” has, indeed, many serious shortcomings, which include:
- IME reports are only reviewed by other IMEs and even by a member of the WorkSafe Clinical Panel (where a peer reviewer cannot reasonably be procured-ha!) – The ‘reviewers’ are not normal practicing doctors/specialists, the reviewers are certainly not injured workers or their representatives, they are not patient, they are not representatives of the public, not a medical panel and not lawyers. Basially the person who reviews the IME report, it is another IME examiner -a colleague!
- Only 2 out of the 47 questions in the peer reviewer marking sheet deal with bias. Many questions are about the injured worker: his/her name, date of birth, claim number etc.making it much easier for the “assessed” IME to pass the review with flying colours.
- The results/findings and scores of the “Quality Assurance Program” reviewed IMEs are not released to the public or published
- In addition, the QAP is only done on the IME’s REPORT, not on the IME’s actual examination (or lack thereof), the length of the examination nor on the IME’s behaviour during the examination. Rating or reviewing a report only cannot possibly assess the level of bias from the part of the IME’s assessment. Many of you know all too well that reading your own IME report often does not reflect what was actually done and said during the examination. As stated on our article: the earmarks of a biased IME report: IME report will also not read like what you remember from the examination. The actual examination will be superficial, careless and short…
- The IME “Quality Assurance Program” also does NOT compare the IME’s report with reports from any other medical practitioners, injured workers treating doctors, top specialists, nor medical panels nor even (scathing) remarks from a Judge for that matter –which basically means that the “assessed” IME’s “report” is not compared for accuracy, correctness and/or credibility against the reports of others doctors/specialists, medical panels or even or against court transcripts.
For these reasons alone, Workafe Victoria’s so-called “IME Quality Assurance Program” is not thorough and careful nor studious and is just about useless.