What Are Common Misconceptions About IMEs Among Calgary Employers?

Brief Overview: There are several common misconceptions about Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs) among Calgary employers. IMEs are assessments conducted by independent healthcare professionals to evaluate an individual’s medical condition and its impact on their ability to work. Employers often have misunderstandings about the purpose, process, and outcomes of IMEs.
Common Misconceptions:
1. IMEs are used solely to deny claims: While it is true that IME reports can be used by insurers to defend against fraudulent or exaggerated claims, many genuine claimants benefit from accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment recommendations provided through IMEs.
2. All healthcare professionals conducting IMEs are biased: Independent medical assessors adhere to strict professional guidelines and ethical standards. They provide objective opinions based on the available evidence, without any bias towards either the employer or employee.
3. The sole purpose of an IME is determining return-to-work readiness: While assessing a person’s fitness for work is part of an IME, these evaluations also focus on understanding the nature of impairment or disability, determining causation factors, providing rehabilitation recommendations, establishing treatment plans, etc.
4. Employees can refuse participation in an IME: In most cases in Calgary (and generally across Canada), employees cannot refuse a valid request for an independent medical assessment if it falls within reasonable parameters set out by legislation and/or employment contracts.
5. The results of an employee’s regular doctor hold more weight than those from an independent assessor: Both viewpoints carry importance but serve different purposes; while treating physicians focus primarily on patient care seeking recovery goals for patients’ best interests – thereby potentially overlooking workplace limitations – independendt examiners who conduct rigorous functional assessments prioritize impartiality when analyzing capacity-for-employment issues.


Q1: Can I choose my own healthcare provider for an Independent Medical Examination?
A1: No, independent medical assessors should not have prior relationships with the examinee to maintain neutrality and fairness.

Q2: What happens during an IME?
A2: The examinee undergoes a comprehensive evaluation, including medical history review, physical examination, diagnostic tests (if necessary), and assessment of functional abilities related to work tasks.

Q3: Can the results of an IME be disputed?
A3: Yes, if there are valid reasons to contest the findings or conclusions from an IME report, it is possible to seek a second opinion or address concerns through legal recourse.

Q4: Are employers allowed access to all the details of an employee’s IME report?
A4: Employers usually receive a summary report outlining essential information relevant to return-to-work planning and accommodation requirements while personal health details remain confidential according to privacy laws.

Q5: How long does it take for an employer to receive the results of an IME?
A5: Typically, reports are delivered within 7-10 business days after completion of the Independent Medical Examination. However, timelines may vary depending on examiner availability and complexity of the case.

Q6: Does attending an IME mean my disability claim will be denied?
A6. Not necessarily; attending an Independent Medical Examination is part of due process. It helps insurers/administrators make informed decisions based on objective evaluations rather than relying solely on subjective claims by either party.

Q7. Is there any financial assistance available for employees who require transportation or accommodation during their IMEs in Calgary?
A7. While this might vary among insurance policies and case-specific arrangements set by various employers/insurers/legal agreements – typically reasonable expenses like travel reimbursement/parking fees/accommodation can be claimed where receipts are submitted as supporting evidence along with respective expense vouchers/reimbursement forms requested from involved parties as per prevailing norms/negotiations/international labor standards etc.

It is crucial for Calgary employers to have accurate knowledge about Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs) to ensure fair and effective disability management. Overcoming misconceptions concerning IMEs can facilitate better decision-making, early intervention, suitable treatment plans, and improved return-to-work outcomes for employees. Employers should consult professionals knowledgeable in this area to avoid any misunderstandings or potential legal pitfalls.