Do you want to give a mandate to an independent medical evaluator in the context of an absenteeism, disability or employment injury file? To ensure efficient, hassle-free management of your medical expertise requests, it’s important that you fully understand the evaluator’s role and its limited scope.
Medical expertise in a nutshell
First, let’s recap the basic concept of medical expertise. It’s a process that involves formulating an independent medical opinion concerning a person’s health condition and the relevant facts. It’s provided by an independent medical evaluator who is mandated by a case manager. Medical expertise includes an independent medical evaluation (IME), a study of the file and expertise related to the practice of medicine. For a better understanding of medical expertise, we suggest you read this article, which demystifies the practice.
To obtain a medical evaluation, the requestor must provide a written mandate to guide the medical evaluator. In addition to specifying the context of the evaluation, the mandate must include specific instructions and questions to be answered in the physician’s report.
To ensure the mandate contains all the information needed to obtain the desired answers, you can consult this article on tips for writing medical evaluation mandates.
Medical evaluator versus attending physician
In general, the medical evaluator meets the examinee only once, on an ad hoc basis and for the time required to carry out the mandate. The evaluator does not have a therapeutic relationship with the examinee and does not perform any follow-up. The evaluator’s role is limited to issuing a neutral, objective opinion in response to the questions in the expert mandate. The attending physician evaluates and treats the individual in the context of a therapeutic doctor-patient relationship that often extends over the long term. The attending physician is usually the person’s family doctor.
Because an IME involves the practice of medicine, the independent medical evaluator is subject to the same legal responsibilities and obligations as those that apply to any medical act, in addition to those concerning medical expertise.
The independent medical evaluator’s role can be summarized as follows:
– It involves one appointment with the examinee;
– The purpose of the appointment is not therapeutic;
– Only information pertaining to the medical expertise mandate is collected or sought.
Different medical expertise specialties
Medical expertise involves all disciplines of medicine. Any medical specialist with sound medical knowledge, adequate clinical experience, an active clinical practice and an understanding of the relevant legal framework can provide medical expertise and conduct independent medical evaluations.
For cases involving absenteeism, occupational disability and employment injury, Ducore Expertise’s evaluators who practice general medicine, psychiatry and orthopedics are consulted most often. Medical experts who are asked to provide an evaluation must act within the limits of their competency. They cannot provide expertise involving a specialty for which they are not qualified.
Don’t hesitate to ask your IME provider to advise you on the specialty that suits your mandate best.
Whichever type of medical expertise you need, the Ducore team ensures effective case management with an extensive network of doctors across Quebec.
Contact us to discuss your needs: firstname.lastname@example.org.