A Pennsylvania appellate court affirmed the denial of an employer’s petition to modify an injured employee’s benefits on the ground that the physician who performed the Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) on which the Modification Petition was based did not meet the requirement of Section 306(a.2) of the Workers' Compensation Act [77 P.S. § 511.2] that physicians performing IREs must be "active in clinical practice for at least twenty hours per week." The court observed that while the IME physician was licensed to practice medicine in Pennsylvania, was board-certified in occupational medicine, had special training on the AMA Guides that physicians must apply in performing IREs and had performed IREs under both the fifth edition AMA Guides and the current, sixth edition AMA Guides, the court noted as well that at the relevant time of the case, she did not treat or manage the care of any patients. Rather, the doctor’s testimony established that her practice consisted solely of workers' compensation IMEs, workers' compensation IREs, physical examinations for pilots to determine whether they satisfied Federal Aviation Administration certification requirements, commercial driver's license examinations, utilization reviews and peer reviews. The appellate court agreed that the physician’s “practice” did not meet the statutory requirement.
Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.
LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.
See Verizon Pennsylvania Inc. v. Workers' Comp. Appeal Bd. (Ketterer), 2014 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 162 (Mar. 12, 2014) [2014 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 162 (Mar. 12, 2014)]
See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 94.02 [94.02]
Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.
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