What Is The Protocol If An IME Uncovers Unrelated Health Issues In New Brunswick?

Brief Overview: In New Brunswick, if an Independent Medical Examination (IME) uncovers unrelated health issues, there is a specific protocol that needs to be followed. This article will provide a detailed explanation of the protocol along with frequently asked questions and their answers.
1. Reporting: The IME physician must report any unrelated health issues discovered during the examination to the referring party or organization promptly.
2. Relevance assessment: The referring party or organization will assess the relevance of the uncovered health issues in relation to the purpose of the IME.
3. Consent for disclosure: If it is determined that disclosing the unrelated health issues is necessary, consent from the examinee should be obtained before sharing this information with relevant parties.
4. Privacy protection: All personal health information uncovered during an IME, including unrelated health issues, must be handled in accordance with privacy laws and regulations.
5. Impact on assessment: Unrelated health issues may have implications on assessing functional abilities or determining suitable accommodations for employment purposes.


1. Can an IME uncover completely unrelated health conditions?
– Yes, an IME can sometimes reveal other medical conditions not related to the initial reason for referral.

2. Who decides if these unrelated conditions are relevant?
– The referring party or organization has the responsibility to determine whether these uncovered conditions are relevant based on their impact on employment or disability claims.

3. Is consent required before disclosing such information?
– Yes, obtaining consent from examinees before sharing their personal health information is crucial unless there are legal obligations mandating disclosure without consent.

4. How are privacy laws applied in these cases?
– Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and other applicable legislation govern how personal medical records should be handled and protected during an IME process.

5. Can these unrelated findings affect disability claim decisions?
– Depending on their severity and impact on functional abilities, these findings may influence disability claim assessments and decisions.

6. Can an examinee request that unrelated findings be kept confidential?
– Examinees have the right to request confidentiality, but it is ultimately up to the referring party or organization to determine if such requests can be accommodated.

7. Are there any consequences for not following the protocol?
– Failure to follow the protocol may result in breaches of privacy laws, potential legal actions, and damage to professional reputation.

BOTTOM LINE: In New Brunswick, when an IME uncovers unrelated health issues, it is essential for all parties involved to follow a specific protocol. This includes reporting the findings promptly, assessing their relevance, obtaining consent for disclosure if necessary, protecting privacy rights, and considering their impact on assessments and claim decisions. Adhering to this protocol ensures compliance with privacy laws while maintaining transparency and fairness in disability management processes.