Independent medical examinations (IMEs) are medical examinations requested by insurers to provide medical information independent of the treating health care provider. These examinations are performed under Minnesota Statutes 176.155, subd. 1, where they are called "examinations by the employer's physician."
Doctors file reports about their examinations with the insurers, who then submit some (but not all) to the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). Insurers file IMEs with DLI to support a benefit status change (e.g., discontinuance of benefits or reduced permanent partial disability rating) or in support of their contentions in a dispute. As a result, with very few exceptions, the reports filed with DLI are adverse examinations -- i.e., the findings disagree with the treating providers' reports.
View the report, released November 2001