For Examinees: Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I being seen at your offices?
I am being asked to confirm an appointment - why?
My notification letter has a whole series of appointment dates and times. Does this mean I can pick any one?
What will happen at my evaluation?
I've heard that all IME physicians are biased - is that true?
Can I get a copy of my report?
Do you validate parking?
Can I bring someone with me to the evaluation?
May I record the evaluation?
Will I be reimbursed for travel expenses?
My notification letter has a whole series of appointment dates and times. Does this mean I can pick any one?

 

Q: Why am I being seen at your offices?

The purpose of your evaluation is to obtain a thorough, unbiased second opinion of your injury or condition. Hopefully, we will be able to affirm the current care, suggest alternate treatment options, or make other helpful recommendations.

Our physicians will be responding to questions provided by the referral source; however, this does not mean that the interests of the referral source will prevail or drive their conclusions in any manner. The sole purpose is to provide a current, thorough, medical evaluation of your injury or condition, without influence of any kind.
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Q: I am being asked to confirm an appointment – why?

A: Our specialists are in high demand and scheduling between four and ten weeks ahead. If, for any reason, you are unable to keep the appointment that has been set for you, there are many others who are in line waiting for that appointment.

Please be sure to confirm your appointment immediately by contacting us at 206-622-2305 or 800-207-2635 or email

confirm(_AT_)panelofconsultants.com
We will give you information regarding travel, parking, and answer any questions we can about the evaluation.

We cannot cancel an appointment, only your claim manager (or the person or entity that set the examination) can do that. Please, do not contact us to change or cancel an appointment; call the person or entity that set the appointment for you. They will contact us with any changes or cancellations.
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Q: My notification letter has a whole series of appointment dates and times. Does this mean I can pick any one?

NO. If you have been provided with a list of multiple appointments, they are with different specialists, sometimes in different offices. Every one of these appointments must be attended, as they are essential to the completion of your evaluation. Multiple appointments are not options, but rather, a series of engagements. Please be sure when you confirm with our offices you know the location and time of each of your appointments.
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Q: What will happen at my evaluation?

A: Because every injury or condition is different, it is difficult to be specific. The evaluation will take a minimum of one hour. We will let you know a general time frame when you contact us at (206) 622-2305 or (800) 207-2635 to confirm your appointment. Please make no other plans on the day(s) of your appointment(s), in case additional testing and/or referrals are necessary to complete your evaluation.

You may be seen by a single physician in our offices, or a combination of a group of physicians in our offices and several physicians who have specialized equipment (ophthalmology or otolaryngology for example) in their private offices. Be sure you know specifically how many appointments you have and all the correct addresses when you call to confirm your appointment(s).
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Q: I've heard that all IME physicians are biased – is that true?

A: While we can’t answer for physicians elsewhere, our physicians are all board-certified, in private practice with injured patients of their own to care for. They are not "paid by the State" (or anyone else), but by us. We allow no pressure of any kind to be brought to bear on our specialists, either by referral sources, or, for that matter, by anyone else.

Our physicians have no incentive to offer a biased opinion; financial or otherwise, nor will we permit any attempt to influence their best medical judgment. Their financial relationship is with us, not the referral source; they have no reason to “please” the referral as they have no financial contact with the referral source. We see our primary task as providing an influence-free environment for every evaluation.
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Q: Can I get a copy of my report?

A: Of course. Contact your claims manager or other referring entity and they will provide you with a copy. We are unable to provide a copy to you, however. This is a HIPAA exception to medical records; the rules governing records related to industrial insurance are very different than routine medical records. We will be happy to explain the details to you and to guide you to the proper resources to fulfill your request.

We suggest you plan to review the report with your attending physician; there is a great deal of medical terminology and technical information in our reports and they are best explained by a medical professional who can go over the details with you for a complete understanding of their content.
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Q: Do you validate parking?

No. Please bring sufficient funds for parking and other transportation needs. We will be happy to assist you with transportation options. Keep receipts and records for all travel expenses. The referral source will reimburse you for travel expenses.
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Q: Can I bring someone with me to the evaluation?

Please do not bring children to the office.

We adhere to the guidelines for evaluations as set forth by the State of Washington, Department of Labor & Industries as follows for accompaniment during evaluations:

WAC 296-23-362 - May a worker bring someone with them to an independent medical examination (IME)?

(1) Workers can bring an adult friend or family member to the IME to provide comfort and reassurance. That accompanying person may attend the physical examination but may not attend a psychiatric examination.

(2) The accompanying person cannot be compensated for attending the examination by anyone in any manner.

(3) The worker may not bring an interpreter to the examination. If interpretive services are needed, the department or self-insurer will provide an interpreter.

(4) The purpose of the IME is to provide information to assist in the determination of the level of any permanent impairment not to conduct an adversarial procedure. Therefore, the accompanying person cannot be:

(a) The worker's attorney, paralegal, any other legal representative, or any other personnel employed by the worker's attorney or legal representative; or

(b) The worker's attending doctor, any other provider involved in the worker's care, or any other personnel employed by the attending doctor or other provider involved in the worker's care.
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Q: May I record the evaluation?

Again, we adhere to the State of Washington, Department of Labor & Industries Guidelines as follows:

WAC 296-23-367 - May the worker videotape or audiotape the independent medical examination?

The use of recording equipment of any kind by the worker or accompanying person is not allowed.
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Q: Will I be reimbursed for travel expenses?

A: Yes. You may ask your claim manager to authorize reimbursement for transportation, food and lodging if you must travel to attend an independent medical examination requested by your claim manager. More information is available at:

http://www.lni.wa.gov/ClaimsIns/Claims/Benefits/TravelProperty/default.asp

A travel reimbursement request from can be downloaded at:

http://www.lni.wa.gov/Forms/pdf/245145af.pdf

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Q: My notification letter has a whole series of appointment dates and times. Does this mean I can pick any one?

NO. If you have been provided with a list of multiple appointments, they are with different specialists, sometimes in different offices. Every one of these appointments must be attended, as they are essential to the completion of your evaluation. Multiple appointments are not options, but rather, a series of engagements. Please be sure when you confirm with our offices you know the location and time of each of your appointments

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