Academy of Chiropractic’s
Lawyers PI Program
Lawyers Meeting #12
From the Desk of:
Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
"Lawyers Meeting: Adding the IME Rebuttal Report"
A Critical Addition to the Meeting
Handling IME's have become a critical issue in the IME community. As treating doctors we realize the impact of in improper IME report and how it negatively affects both the patient's overall care and well-being and our ability to earn a fair and equitable income. Within the legal community in improper defense report also creates significant and often devastating issues to the case of the attorney representing an injured client.
Although it is not our responsibility to take action to help a lawyer prevail, and it never will be, it is our responsibility to let the truth rule the day of the accurate findings of our patients. Those in the legal community are usually improperly trained to ferret out those improprieties taken by IME and peer review doctors because the reports are always about the "medicine". Therefore, it is an ethical activity to respond to what you feel is improper defense medical report based on the facts of the findings of your patient. I have also long contended that by neglecting to respond to in improper IME report you are in a large way part of the problem because this egregious activity has gone unchecked. When an "untruth" goes unchallenged it becomes formal and public record and considered the final word and the truth.
This has a host of negative issues: first your patients are denied necessary care, secondly it prevent you from getting paid and lastly it "trenches" your reputation as a Doctor because the improper IME or peer review report always disagrees with your conclusions and is the final word in saying you are not good at what you do. Any personal injury or workers compensation case these become public record and available to anyone who chooses to look at the reports. Lawyers when preparing for a case always look at past cases for the legal precedents or tactics used by the defense. It is here that they will read the negative reports about you and formulate an opinion about both your clinical abilities and desire to work with you in the future. Lawyers have many resources beyond which is usual and customary in the medical world, therefore we need to understand how improper IME report fits into the lawyer's ability to learn about you and where. There are times when you will meet with a lawyer and they will already know about you and you will never know why, where, or how they learned about you.
Section 8 of the consultations titled "IME and Peer Review Rebuttals" share with you in intimate detail on how to create in IME and peer review rebuttal. You must learn how to do this at The Proper level and create samples for a lawyer to look through and learn more about you and your ability and why clinical excellence you are different and perhaps the reason they will prevail in their case.
When meeting with a lawyer for the first time or even the 10th time you must have a sample IME rebuttal available for them to review just as they review your narrative. Please create a sample IME rebuttal and be sure to redact any names in the report inclusive of your patient, treating doctors or defense doctors. This should be done on your letterhead and placed in the binder behind the narrative. I also strongly suggest tabbed page dividers as that will make it easier for lawyers to go to each section. This rebuttal is not for the lawyers to keep just as the narrative is not for the lawyers to keep and the reason why it goes in the narrative binder.
This simple process will once again proving to the attorney that you are expert in trauma and understand the medical legal process based upon your clinical excellence. You also have to understand that no matter what documentation you give a lawyer it is your credentials that will rule the day, therefore make sure you have updated curriculum vitae in your second binder that also houses the bi-monthly flyers.