Monday, February 08, 2010
Impairment Rating Tips February 2010
Colorado workers compensation claimants who reach or seem to have reached MMI (maximum medical improvement) are often rated by an authorized treating physician or if requested by another doctor in an Independent Medical Examination. The Division has just issued its new Impairment Rating Tips. These are recommendations primarily for the use of the rating physicians but they are useful to others. The tips are 7 pages so quite a bit of ground is covered. One tip concerns the use of what is called contralateral measurements. This tip seems to allow a doctor to measure the uninjured side and compare it with the injured side. My view is that this seems to disregard the AMA guides for Colorado which set forth how to rate impairment. By statute (see CRS 8-42-107(8)) the Guides instructions seem to be required. Setting them aside for another way to calculate in my view conflicts with the law but the contralateral tip is there to read. These new Tips are an interesting read and I'd suggest spending a few minutes to look them over. While these are not legally mandatory since they are written primarily for physicians we may see them referred to and followed by them.