Independent medical examination

An independent medical examination must be performed by a doctor who has not had a treating relationship with the examinee. They do not enter into a doctor-patient relationship and are not to provide advice to the worker about their condition, treatment or workers compensation claim.

The role of the independent medical examiner is to consider all the information available and provide expert defendable opinion on any questions arising at the interface of health and work including:

  • Advice on accepting a claim
  • The insurers ongoing liability
  • The worker’s capacity for employment
  • Ongoing treatment needs

If the independent medical examiner considers some other type of treatment might assist the worker, this will be detailed in their report and they may (where requested) contact the worker’s treating doctor to discuss treatment options. The independent medical examiner’s report is forwarded to the person who requested it.

Fitness for duty assessment

With an ageing workforce and the increased incidence of various medical conditions, a fitness for duty assessment provides a risk assessment report to the employer and deals with issues such as:

  • Assistance with rehabilitation of workers with complicated injuries particularly involving a psychological component
  • Non-work related medical problems which may impact on an employee’s ability to safely and productively perform their duties
  • Excessive absenteeism or other management issues where a medical condition may be involved
  • Sensitive cases
  • Complex fitness to work assessments

Our specialist Physicians are well placed to deliver appropriate and defendable fitness for duty assessment.

Forensic assessment

Cases involving injury and incapacity are complex and multifactorial in nature. There are often a number of competing interests, and the best outcome for all parties lies somewhere within. Our Occupational Physicians provide an evidence based approach to determining causation, appropriate management and residual risk.

Specifically, a forensic assessment is an analysis of all information relating to the current health of an individual relating to an injury. The goal is to determine the causation of the injury and its relationship to work.

A forensic assessment may be performed as a desktop file review or a specific sub-type of independent medical examination.

Panel assessment

A panel assessment involves the independent assessment of a worker by an Occupational Physician and a Psychiatrist.

Due to our unique position at the interface of work and health, we have become acutely aware of the growing impact of mental health conditions on the ability of workers to perform their roles.

Our Occupational Physicians and Psychiatrists understand the delineation between their roles and also the overlap required for those complex cases which are becoming more prevalent in Australia.

By providing you with two separate opinions, along with a combined consensus means employers can be assured that the full extent of an individual’s bio-psycho-social influences have been addressed.

A panel assessment provides employers with:

  • The determination of work-relatedness of injury and illness
  • Advice on management of these conditions moving forward
  • In a concise, expert report

How do I know to request a panel assessment?
The types of cases that typically benefit from a panel assessment are those which are:

  • Complex
  • Long-standing
  • Involve the development of secondary psychological conditions following physical injury
  • Feature long-standing absenteeism

The sorts of questions a panel assessment may seek to answer include:

  • What is a worker’s current psychological status?
  • Determination of a new condition or exacerbation of a pre-existing condition

Functional capacity assessment

We often receive requests for a functional capacity assessment by mistake when in fact an employer or insurer requires an independent medical examination or fitness for duty assessment. By understanding the specific questions you require to be answered, we can help direct you to the most appropriate service for you needs.

Permanent impairment assessments

Our Physicians are experienced in providing Permanent Impairment (PI) Assessment and Reports. We have provided services to insurers for a number of years.

We offer a national service and our Physicians are qualified and experienced in undertaking assessments under the following methodologies:

  • American Medical Association Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 4th, 5th and 6th Editions.
  • State-based Statutory Guidelines

They are trained in and available to perform assessment under the various State-based and Commonwealth Guidelines for the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.

Medical advisory service

We are able to offer the services of our Physicians on an as needs basis to provide medical advice on claims. This would usually be a file review and answering specific questions such as:

  • What is the usual course of a particular condition?
  • Advice on rehabilitation and return to work
  • Is this injury or illness due to a pre-existing underlying condition or a new condition?
  • Is work a significant contributing factor

This service is designed to provide answers to specific questions such as the above in an efficient manner with response either verbal, email or report depending more on your preference.


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