What Is An Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) In Alberta?

Quick Overview:An Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) in Alberta is a comprehensive assessment conducted by a qualified healthcare professional who is not involved in the patient’s ongoing care. It aims to provide an unbiased opinion on various medical and disability-related issues.

Five Supporting Facts:
1. Purpose: IMEs are typically requested by employers, insurance companies, or legal professionals to obtain an independent assessment of an individual’s medical condition, functional abilities, and potential for return to work.
2. Qualified Professionals: IMEs are conducted by licensed physicians or other healthcare specialists with expertise relevant to the specific case being evaluated.
3. Scope of Assessment: The evaluation may include reviewing medical records, conducting physical examinations, assessing diagnostic test results, analyzing treatment options, and providing recommendations regarding diagnosis, prognosis, treatment plans, and work capacity.
4. Impartiality: The examiner must remain impartial throughout the evaluation process and ensure that their conclusions are based solely on objective evidence rather than personal bias or external influences.
5. Legal Admissibility: IME reports can be used as evidence in legal proceedings related to workers’ compensation claims disputes or personal injury lawsuits.


Q1: Who can request an IME?
A1: Employers seeking information for workplace accommodation decisions; insurance companies evaluating disability claims; lawyers representing clients involved in litigation related to injuries or disabilities.

Q2: How long does an IME take?
A2: The duration varies depending on the complexity of the case but generally ranges from one hour for simpler evaluations up to several hours for more extensive assessments.

Q3: Can patients refuse an IME?
A3: While patients have the right to refuse consent for an IME examination without penalty from their treating physician(s), this refusal may impact certain benefits or claim determinations.

Q4: Are there any costs associated with an IME?
A4: In most cases involving insurers or employers requesting the evaluation as part of a claim or workplace accommodation process, the costs of the IME are covered by the requesting party.

Q5: Can a patient’s treating physician be present during the IME?
A5: Generally, an IME is conducted without the presence of a patient’s treating physician to maintain objectivity and independence. However, there may be exceptions in certain cases where it is deemed necessary.

Q6: How can one prepare for an IME?
A6: It is advisable to gather all relevant medical records and reports before attending the evaluation. Patients should also be prepared to provide detailed information about their medical history, symptoms, limitations, and any ongoing treatments.

Q7: What happens after an IME?
A7: The examiner will compile a comprehensive report summarizing their findings and opinions. This report will then be shared with the requesting party (e.g., employer or insurance company) who will use it to make informed decisions regarding disability claims or legal proceedings.

An Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) in Alberta involves a qualified healthcare professional conducting an impartial assessment of an individual’s medical condition and functional abilities. It serves as valuable evidence for employers, insurers, and legal professionals in making informed decisions related to disability claims or litigation processes.