WorkCover Insurers willing to pay thousands each time you are examined

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It has just come to my attention that a Victorian Injured worker was asked to undergo an independent medical examination in Melbourne CBD, BUT with an independent medical examiner that was flown in from QLD! The best medical specialists are in Melbourne, so why the need to fly one in?

If it is not bad enough that the insurers are willing to pay thousands of dollars each time you (an injured worker) are examined, they will often try to make additional demands on injured workers in the process. For example, in more rural areas, they will not have a local doctor available to do their “dirty”‘ work. They will schedule injured workers to attend IMEs hundreds of kilometers away. And worse yet, they will actually fly n IME to , ahh well, help defeat your claim.

WorkCover Insurers willing to pay thousands each time you are examined

WorkCover insurers routinely require injured workers to attend independent medical examinations (IME).

If you think about it carefully, the word “independent” includes the subdefinition of “not depending on another person’s opinion and/or resources.” There is no doubt that IME is in fact dependent on the workcover insurer for payment for this service. It is well known that the insurer will choose a particular doctor for your examination, not because the doctor is “fair,” but because they generally offer the ‘best results’.  As we saw in the Victorian Ombudsman’s investigation into workcover, some internal insurer memos even referred to these selected IMEs as ” terminators” or “good for termination”!  The ‘fix’ or solution to your claim obviously lies within these examinations. The workcover insurer is not going to pay good (and extra travel/accommodation) money for bad results duh. You see they prefer to use the same IMEs time and time again to get the “same” result: evidence by which to deny your workcover claim, or benefit (eg surgery, weekly pay etc).

Many of these IMEs make a considerable portion of their income from their examinations of injured workers on behalf of insurers. Some have become very good at ‘medical’ terminology and will not hesitate to use their amazing jargon in their efforts to please the insurer. I recently read a court case which stated a well known IME used the term “failed surgery syndrome”- what the F is this, eh?

Often the said independent examination will be a quick, superficial affair … which makes me think that the IME wants to ensure sure not to find any evidence of your disabling condition! I am sure you too have seen your IME refuse to take a look at the medical documents you brought along to ensure s/he gets the whole picture (ie MRIs, scans, results, etc)… See the IME is NOT concerned about your well-being (at least most of them).

It is also very common for certiain IMEs to undermine the credibility of your  workcover claim. That’s why you will often see things like “complaints are excessive for condition demonstrated,” “symptom exaggeration,” …  “failed surgery syndrome! ” or the worse ever, “malingering.” The goal of using this language is to make the injured worker look dishonest which is easier to do than trying to undermine the actual findings of the treating doctors/specialists!

And I could babble on and on and on!

 

 

One Response to “WorkCover Insurers willing to pay thousands each time you are examined”

  1. Great article. I’m in Tasmania and was seen by 2 IME’s from New Zealand! You’d think they’d fly someone from Melbourne.

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