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Will my disability insurance company give me a copy of the IME report?



When the independent medical exam is done, the doctors generally generate a report, correct? Is that report generally made available to the clients or is that report made available to client’s treating physicians?

Usually for the treating physicians. Most of the time when I request them, they say it’s not our policy to turn them over, in the event of litigation or in a denial on a group claim, a lot of times they will send them over to the insured’s treating physicians for comment and review and I have heard plenty of times, I am sure you guys have too, contact their doctors to see if the doctor will release it to you.

I think it is a good idea that we do in our practice too is to try to ask the insurance company to have the independent medical exam report sent to the treating physicians before any claim decision is made so that the treating physician can have the opportunity to comment on that report.

There are 10 opinions so far. Add your comment now.

Jon:

I just went to a disability IME in New York and I started taking notes and the doctor told me that he wasn’t informed in advance I would be taking notes of the exam, he called the vendor but they weren’t available. I told him I would not take notes if it was going to be a problem but he said he didn’t want to tell me I couldn’t do that, so he stopped the exam. I immediately called the Hartford and the claims person gave me the impression I did something wrong. I told them I didn’t stop the exam, he did, and I even gave in on writing notes. Wouldn’t this be bad faith on their part to deny me for that? I mean can you really tell a patient being examined they can’t take notes?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Jon,

You have a right to take notes at an IME and it is strange that the doctor stopped the exam. If they want to do another exam, then you should bring someone else with you to take notes at the exam, or request to videotape or record the exam. The doctor they sent you to sounds like a quack.

John W.:

I had an IME in April, I know the report has been sent to the Ins. co. attorney. But they haven’t released a copy to my attorney. How long can their lawyers withhold the report?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

John,

I would suggest you contact your attorney to find out.

BNW:

During an Neuropsych IME, if they don’t allow videotaping, reporter, or 3rd party witness, can you secretly audio tape the IME, in a state such as Ohio, which allows recording (even of telephone calls) with only one party consent?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

BNW,

I would not recommend secretly recording any portion of the exam.

Michael D.:

Hello,

It’s been three months and my lawyer and I haven’t seen the ime report and it was requested several times. What can I do and why does this happen? I live in Michigan, is there certain laws against them doing this?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Michael, depending on the nature of your disability policy an insurance company does not have an affirmative duty to provide a copy of the IME unless a denial of benefits occurs.

Andrew K.:

Thank you in advance for answering these questions. I have been receiving disability payments from Hartford, previously CNA and MetLife, since 1996 when a terminal condition became a chronic one. For nearly 22 years my physicians have completed forms and I have submitted yearly claimant questionnaires as requested. During a recent phone review from Benefit Management Services (BMS), I questioned how a recent surgery had anything to do with my current permanent disability, which continues to meet SSDI definitions. Within a week of that conversation, I was told that I was required to have an IME (1st time in 22 years), with which I complied. My doctor stated he would support me in any termination of benefits but it has been over two months since the exam. Should or might my doctor request the report from Hartford or BMS? Attempts to obtain them from the IME were unsuccessful. The stress at the time was devastating and contributed to a significant weight loss. I have worked hard to not worry over the situation but I feel that I should have some access to that disposition.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Andrew, insurance companies will not typically provide a copy of the IME report directly to an insured unless there has been a formal denial of benefits. However, you can certainly request that a copy of the IME report be sent to your doctor for review. Has Hartford ever approached you with respect to a potential buyout? That option may be available to you given your extensive claim history. That being said, it does not mean that it would be in your best interest from a monetary standpoint. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim in greater detail.

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