Physicians: Independent Medical Examinations: Generally

MacGillivray v. Montana State Fund [10/04/16] 2016 MTWCC 13 Where the treating physician agreed with the IME doctor's “assessment of the diagnosis of vocal cord dysfunction,” but in response to specific questions from Petitioner's attorney, later disagreed with the IME doctor's position that Petitioner's condition was a psychogenically-mediated temporary aggravation, insurer is not entitled to a second IME due to a change in medical opinion.  Although the treating physician’s later opinion is more detailed, the details are not inconsistent with his prior opinion.

Koch v. Employers Ins. Group [05/19/14] 2014 MTWCC 14 The Court found the opinions of an IME physician unpersuasive where the physician did not consider the fact that the Court already concluded that Petitioner had suffered a compensable injury and where the physician found that Petitioner’s pain complaints were not caused by her industrial accident because he did not consider radiological findings or muscle spasms to be objective medical findings, and where the Court found he avoided making objective medical findings by failing to conduct appropriate testing.

Svendsen v. Montana State Fund [06/09/11] 2011 MTWCC 14 Where an IME physician had a previous working relationship with an industrial hygienist who performed an evaluation of the claimant’s worksite, any conflict of interest caused by the previous relationship will go to the weight accorded the IME report and is insufficient grounds to preclude the physician from performing the IME.
Haman v. Wausau [11/30/07] 2007 MTWCC 49 Although the Court granted Respondent the right to a second IME with a specific physician under certain conditions, Respondent’s right to have an IME with a specific doctor of its choice is not absolute. If the physician will not conduct the IME under the conditions specified by the Court, Respondent may select a different physician to conduct the examination.

Montana State Fund v. Pardis [05/10/06] 2006 MTWCC 21 Where no IME was performed on four chiropractic patients until after the treating physician opined that the patients were at MMI, in spite of statistical evidence which demonstrated that the four patients each received a number of treatments well in excess of the statistical average, the Court cannot conclude that a high number of treatments taken alone – without an IME or other direct evidence that a patient has reached MMI and is therefore receiving palliative or maintenance treatments – is sufficient to deny the insurer’s liability for payment.