Following an Independent Medical Examination (IME) in Saskatchewan, employers should adhere to certain best practices in order to effectively manage disability claims and ensure compliance with legal requirements. By implementing these practices, employers can minimize potential disputes and ensure fair and efficient management of workplace injuries or illnesses.
1. Obtain a comprehensive IME report: Employers should request a detailed written report from the IME provider that includes relevant medical information, diagnosis, prognosis, recommended treatment plans, and functional limitations.
2. Engage in early intervention: Upon receiving the IME report, it is crucial for employers to promptly review and analyze it to identify any potential barriers to recovery or rehabilitation. Early engagement with injured workers can aid in developing appropriate return-to-work plans.
3. Ensure privacy protection: Employers must ensure that all personal health information obtained during the IME process is treated confidentially according to applicable privacy legislation such as The Health Information Protection Act (HIPA).
4. Consider accommodation options: Following an IME recommendation for work restrictions or modifications due to disability issues identified during the examination, employers should explore reasonable accommodation options within their organization’s capabilities.
5. Maintain open lines of communication: Regular communication between the employer, employee, treating healthcare professionals involved in managing the disability claim helps facilitate understanding of limitations/abilities affecting return-to-work planning.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Q1. Can I request multiple IMEs if I am not satisfied with one?
A1. Yes, but it is advisable first discuss concerns regarding your satisfaction directly with both parties i.e., physician who performed current assessment & insurer providing requested service before requesting additional ones
Q2. Are there limitations on what information employers receive from an IME?
A2.Yes several including Release forms required (signed by subject under consideration), limits on sharing results beyond purpose stated at time of referral,and restrictions based on provincial access-to-information laws/personal health info regulations(HIPA)
Q3. Can an IME be used to terminate an employee’s employment?
A3. An IME can provide information regarding an employee’s medical condition & functional abilities but employers must comply with applicable human rights legislation, labor laws and contractual obligations.
Q4. What if the employee refuses to attend the IME appointment?
A4: Employers should consult legal counsel as non-compliance might affect eligibility for benefits under workers’ compensation or other disability insurance programs.
Q5: Is it necessary to obtain consent from employees before scheduling an IME?
A5. Yes, employers are required to obtain informed written consent from employees prior to arranging any medical examination, including an IME.
Q6. Can I request a specific physician for the IME?
A6.Employers have some latitude in selecting the healthcare professional conducting the assessment but requesting a particular doctor will depend upon availability & expertise of physicians within necessary specialty
Q7.What happens if there is a dispute over prognosis between treating health professional and findings of the independent examiner (IME)?
A7.In this case, it would be advisable for both parties involved( employer and employee)to collaborate in order determine potential reasons behind disagreement& reach consensus on appropriate steps moving forward that align with applicable regulations/laws
Employers in Saskatchewan should follow best practices post-IME by obtaining comprehensive reports, engaging in early intervention, ensuring privacy protection, exploring accommodation options, and maintaining open communication channels. Adhering to these guidelines helps promote fair management of workplace injuries/illnesses while ensuring compliance with legal requirements.