INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAMINERS
PROCEDURES BEFORE THE
INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAMINER
Words in italics are defined in Rule 49.
A. An independent medical examiner shall render medical findings in any dispute submitted to the examiner on the medical condition of the employee and related issues, including, but not limited to:
1. whether the employee is able to perform any gainful employment temporarily or permanently;
2. what physical restrictions, if any, would be imposed on the employee's employment;
3. whether the employee has reached maximum medical improvement;
4. the existence and extent of any permanent physical impairment;
5. the reasonableness and necessity of any medical treatment previously provided or to be provided to the employee; and
6. any other medical question(s) as may pertain to the causality and relatedness of the medical condition to the employment.
B. In addition to the review of records and information, the independent medical examiner may examine the employee as often as the examiner determines necessary in order to render medical findings on the questions and issues submitted. The examiner may also perform any necessary tests and may also arrange for any necessary tests, evaluations and examinations to be performed by other health care providers, but shall not refer the employee to any facility in which the examiner has an ownership or similar financial or investment interest, unless the type of facility or services are not otherwise available within 60 miles of the residence or place of employment of the employee.
C. If it is determined by the independent medical examiner that it is necessary to examine the employee in order to render medical findings on the disputed issues, then the examiner shall contact the employee to schedule the appointment. Such contact may be by telephone or in writing, and shall occur within 10 business days from receipt of records from all parties pursuant to Rule 63. The examiner shall immediately notify all parties and the court, in writing by regular mail, of the date, time, location, and purpose of the examination. If the
employee fails to appear for a scheduled examination, or if an examination is cancelled within 48 hours of the scheduled time by the employee, then the examination
shall not be rescheduled unless approved by the employer or insurance carrier or by order of the court.
D. All contact between the examiner and the parties, other than for the scheduling of an appointment for an examination and the examination, shall be in writing
with copies to all other parties and the court.
E. After review of the records and information, and completion of any necessary examinations and/or additional tests, evaluations or examinations, the independent
medical examiner shall submit a written report to the court and to all parties, stating the examiner's medical findings on the questions or issues raised and providing a description of the findings sufficient to explain the basis of those findings. Where only a review of records and information is required, such report shall be submitted within 10 business days of receipt of all necessary records and information. If an examination and/or additional tests, evaluations or examinations are required, such report shall be submitted within 10
business days of the completion of the examinations, additional tests or evaluations. The court may approve extension of time upon good cause shown by the examiner.
F. Requests for clarification of the independent medical examiners findings must be submitted to the court, not to the independent medical examiner. Clarification will be permitted only with approval of a medical services specialist of the court. No request for clarification will be permitted if it is determined by the specialist to be overly burdensome to the examiner. Any party may depose the examiner in accordance with the Nebraska Discovery Rules for all Civil Cases.
G. The written report of the independent medical examiners findings shall be admissible in a proceeding before the court, and may be received into evidence by the court on its own motion.
H. Once the independent medical examiner has submitted a written report stating findings on the questions or issues raised, no party may request court assignment of another independent medical examiner on the same questions or issues. I. No petition may be filed with the court solely on the issue of reasonableness and necessity of medical treatment unless a medical finding on such issue has been rendered by an independent medical examiner, but such finding shall not thereafter preclude the filing of a petition. A petition may be filed with the court for the purpose of avoiding the running of the applicable statute of limitations in which case the petition shall be deemed filed with the court for purposes of
the statute of limitations but will be held in abeyance until the medical finding on the issue has been received from the independent medical examiner.
J. Any physician acting without malice and within the scope of the provider's duties as an independent medical examiner shall be immune from civil liability for making any report or other information available to the court or for assisting in the origination, investigation, or preparation of the report or other information so provided.
Sections48-134.01, 48-173, RRS. 2010, and48-120, RS. Supp., 2016.
Effective date: April 24, 2008.