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About Independent Medical Exams

Washington State Dept of Labor & Industries (L&I) must approve examiners who perform independent medical examinations (IME). These examinations are for workers covered under Washington state workers' compensation.

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  • Expand/collapse What is an independent medical exam (IME)?

    An IME evaluates and documents the condition of workers covered under Washington state workers' compensation insurance or individuals covered under the Crime Victims Compensation Program.
    IMEs may decide whether the individual has reached their maximum benefit from treatments or if any permanent impairment remains. High-quality exams provide unbiased, accurate, and medically-sound information. This helps the insurer give appropriate assistance and make fair decisions on the claim.

  • Expand/collapse Who can order or request an IME?

    The insurer may request an IME. They may also arrange for one in response to a request or an issue raised by the attending doctor or the employer at the time of injury.

  • Expand/collapse What is the IME approved examiners list?

    A list of currently approved providers. You can look them up on the Find a Medical Examiner site.

    These providers are approved to perform IMEs of injured workers covered under the State Fund, by self-insured employers, or L&I’s Crime Victims Compensation Program. Availability of doctors may vary. Approved doctors are not obligated to accept exam assignments, nor does L&I guarantee referrals. Doctors may perform IMEs as individual providers, affiliated with firms, or both.

    L&I regularly updates the list.

  • Expand/collapse Who may perform independent medical examinations? (WAC 296-23-317)
  • Providers that are approved by L&I. They must be licensed to practice in:

    • Medicine and surgery,
    • Osteopathic medicine and surgery,
    • Podiatric medicine and surgery,
    • Chiropractic, or
    • Dentistry.

    (See WAC 296-23-317)

  • Expand/collapse How can I become an approved examiner to perform IMEs? (WAC 296-23-312)
  • You must apply to L&I using the IME provider application.

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