How Do Employers Handle Conflicting Opinions Between IME And Treating Physicians In Newfoundland And Labrador?

Brief Overview:When it comes to conflicting opinions between Independent Medical Examinations (IME) and treating physicians in Newfoundland and Labrador, employers have several options to consider. It is important for employers to navigate this situation carefully, as it can impact the course of disability management and potential legal proceedings. Here are five key facts about how employers handle conflicting opinions:

1. IME purpose: IMEs are conducted by neutral medical professionals who assess an individual’s medical condition objectively. The purpose is to provide an unbiased opinion on the employee’s functional abilities, limitations, and treatment needs.

2. Treating physician role: Treating physicians are responsible for diagnosing and managing their patients’ conditions. They have a long-standing relationship with the patient and possess detailed knowledge of their medical history.

3. Importance of communication: Employers play a crucial role in facilitating communication between all parties involved, including the IME provider, treating physician, employee, insurer, and legal representatives if applicable.

4. Evaluating credibility: Employers need to evaluate the credibility of both the IME report and treating physician’s opinions based on factors such as expertise in relevant areas, thoroughness of examination or review process, consistency with objective evidence or diagnostic tests.

5. Seeking additional expert opinions: In cases where there is a significant discrepancy between IME findings and treating physician’s opinion or when further clarification is needed; employers may consider seeking additional expert opinions from specialists or conducting peer reviews.


1. Can an employer solely rely on one opinion over another?
No, employers should not solely rely on one opinion over another without considering various factors like qualifications/expertise of each professional involved or any inconsistencies within reports that require further investigation.

2. What steps can be taken if there is a conflict?
Employers should first ensure open lines of communication among all parties involved while reviewing available documentation thoroughly before making any decisions regarding disability management plans or claims processes.

3.Can an employer request a second IME if the opinions differ significantly?
Yes, employers have the right to request a second IME or seek additional expert opinions when there is a significant discrepancy between reports or if further clarification is needed.

4. How can employers maintain objectivity in such situations?
Employers should remain impartial and rely on evidence-based assessments while considering all available information. They may also consult with legal experts to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

5. What role does the insurer play in handling conflicting opinions?
The insurer plays a crucial role in coordinating communication between parties involved and assessing the credibility of both reports. They may provide guidance based on their expertise in disability management processes.

6. Are there any legal implications for employers when handling conflicting opinions?
There are potential legal implications for employers, as decisions made based on conflicting opinions can impact an employee’s rights and entitlements under employment law or workers’ compensation legislation.

7. Can employees dispute the findings of an IME report?
Yes, employees have the right to dispute the findings of an IME report through appropriate channels, such as filing appeals or seeking independent reviews by third-party professionals.

Handling conflicting opinions between IMEs and treating physicians requires careful consideration from employers in Newfoundland and Labrador. Open communication, evaluation of credibility, seeking additional expert opinions when necessary, maintaining objectivity, involving insurers appropriately, and understanding potential legal implications are key factors that contribute to effective resolution in these situations.