Hot Seat – What's the Big Deal Regarding the AMA 6th Edition?

13 Sep, 2018 Bob Wilson


The AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Sixth Edition, has been a pretty hot topic lately. Challenged in multiple states and found unconstitutional in two, it has drawn the ire of plaintiff attorneys and labor leaders, who say it unfairly punishes seriously injured workers, while supporters say it “provides a consistent methodology with a more rationale [sic] basis to defining impairment. It was designed by a consensus process to improve the reliability of impairment ratings and, therefore, reduce conflict, increase fairness and ease resolution. “

There has been what could be described as a coordinated effort to eliminate the use of the 6th Edition across the nation. This has been happening at the same time that others are starting to push back on current concepts of “disability” as a legal construct and acceptable path for injured workers.  

So, clearly it sounded like a great Hot Seat Webinar topic to us.

The fifth episode of the Hot Seat Webinar program will be entitled, “Impairing the Guides: The Legal Assault on the 6th Edition,” and will be broadcast September 20, 2018 at 1:00PM Eastern. It will take an in depth look at the legal challenges being brought around the nation concerning the 6thedition of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. Special guests Dr. Chris Brigham and Attorney Alan Pierce will square off on the perceptions and future of the 6th edition. Brigham is Senior Contributing Editor for the AMA Guides Sixth edition and Editor of the AMA Guides Newsletter. He is also author of the book, “Living Abled.” Pierce is a well-known plaintiff’s attorney and host of the podcast "Workers' Comp Matters" heard on the Legal Talk Network.

This presentation will give each side the opportunity to clarify their position and debate the merits of the official AMA guidelines. I believe this will be a very interesting discussion, and early registration levels tell me that others feel the same way. Co-host Judge David Langham and I are very happy to have been able to put this webinar together.

The webinar is free, and you may register at Even if you cannot attend at that time, register anyway. We will send you a link to view the rebroadcast immediately after the program concludes.

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