Iowa Rejects 6th Edition of AMA Impairment Guides for Work Injuries

Since its publication, the Sixth Edition of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment has met with stiff criticism. It has been described as a step back in fairly assessing work injuries by many legal and medical experts. Several States have formally rejected use of the Sixth Edition, and Iowa has joined that group of jurisdictions. Specifically, Iowa has relied on the Fifth Edition of the Guides, and will stay with that edition for the foreseeable future.
The Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner formally amended the agency's rules in the Iowa Administrative Code, to read: "876—2.4(85,86) Guides to evaluation of permanent impairment. The Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fifth Edition, published by the American Medical Association are adopted as a guide for determining permanent partial disabilities under Iowa Code section 85.34(2)“a” to “s.” The extent of loss or percentage of permanent impairment may be determined by use of this guide the Fifth Edition of the guides and payment of weekly compensation for permanent partial scheduled injuries made accordingly."
The Commissioner cited calls for greater clarity in the use of the Sixth Edition, and noted," Until such studies can be completed by medical and legal experts who commonly are involved in the Iowa Workers’ Compensation system, the use of sixth edition ratings are expressly discouraged."

Impairment Guides Resource Center


H. Edwin Detlie
  • 06-11-2008

I guess you can say that the AMA Guides Sixth Edition was D.O.A. (dead no arrival)? There seems to be a movement nationwide to reject the Sixth Edition, at least until studies are done.