- Changing Dimes: Workers’ Compensation Division Ime Rule Seeing Significant Updates in the New Year
- December 18, 2018 | Authors: Paul R. Popovic; Megan E. Coulter
- Law Firm: Hall & Evans, LLC - Denver Office
A key issue in a workers’ compensation claim is the determination of maximum medical improvement (“MMI”). MMI is assessed by the treating physician and is the point in time when the claimant’s condition has become stable with no further treatment expected to improve their condition. Historically, one of the parties would often disagree with the treating physician’s MMI finding. This led to more protracted and costly proceedings.
The Division Independent Medical Exam (“DIME”) Program was enacted to minimize litigation arising out of a party’s dispute with the treating physician’s MMI or impairment finding. A DIME is performed by an independent physician assigned to the claim. The doctor reviews the medical records, performs a physical exam of the injured worker, and writes a narrative report summarizing their MMI and impairment findings. The DIME physician’s findings on MMI and impairment are binding and can only be overcome by clear and convincing evidence. In place since 1991, the DIME procedure is outlined in Rule 11 of the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Rules of Procedure. On January 1, 2019, the DIME rule will see a significant overhaul.Click to read the full article.