What is an Independent Medical Evaluation?
Independent Medical Evaluations (IMEs) are examinations performed by a physician not involved in an individual’s care for the purpose of clarifying medical and job issues. Click here to read more about IMEs.
Why is an IME considered independent?
The IME physician is not a treating doctor and can objectively evaluate past treatment or proposed treatment recommendations (i.e., the IME physician’s recommendations are not contingent on future care or treatment of the individual). Reimbursement for an IME is not contingent upon any specific conclusions from the examination. For example, conclusions from a REOH IME may confirm or refute issues regarding the relationship of the injury or illness to work.
Medical Ethics & Conflict of Interest Policy
Conflict of Interest Policies: Independent Medical Evaluations
In alignment with the American College of Physicians’ Ethics Manual, 6th Edition, REOH takes seriously the responsibilities of an independent medical examiner and the inherent potential conflicts of interest. REOH’s practices in furtherance of this responsibility include:
Disclosure of the differences between a treating patient-physician relationship and that of an independent medical examiner and claimant.
A clear understanding of who has ordered the examination.
REOH physicians maintain independent medical judgement (based on a medically more probable than not basis, as legally required) regardless of the influence of a third-party.
Opinions are guided by: best medical literature evidence; physical exam (except in cases of record review); review of available medical records; results of diagnostic testing; and appropriate treatment guidelines.
Conflict of Interest Policies: General
REOH staff members may not engage in any business or professional activity which conflict with the duties and responsibilities of their position within REOH.
Physicians will not place their own financial interests above the evaluation of a claimant.
REOH will not become involved in a matter that presents a conflict of interest under these policies. If an unforeseen conflict arises after REOH has become involved, they will either change the physician who is involved, or defer the case to a different party, depending on which action is required to resolve the conflict.
Physicians will not accept gifts that may be perceived to present a conflict of interest.
No REOH staff member will share confidential information with anyone not legally entitled to that information.
All REOH physicians will maintain a Disclosure Agreement, updated annually, to be included in presentations and academic work, or as otherwise appropriate.
Conflict of Interest Policies: Contracted Work with the Montana Department of Labor and Industry (MTDLI)
REOH physicians adhere to the principles listed above, both in their practices with REOH and associations with the MTDLI.
REOH physicians act as contract Medical Directors for MTDLI.
REOH maintains a voluntary internal procedure that prevents the circumstance in which its physicians, acting as the Medical Director, would perform services for MTDLI on a claimant they have evaluated in a professional capacity through their work at REOH. Additionally, any individual whose claim is addressed by a REOH physician in the capacity of Medical Director will not be seen by the same physician at REOH for any service.
Referral for care or services is outside the designation of a Medical Director. These decisions should be resolved in a resulting mediation between involved parties as appropriate and do not in any way involve the Medical Director.
Questions regarding this policy can be directed to REOH’s Compliance Officer, Leah Morrow: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions regarding contract work with MTDLI can be directed to Bill Wheeler: email@example.com
What are the doctor's credentials?
Dr. John Schumpert, Dr. David Hewitt, and Dr. Margaret Cook-Shimanek have been practicing medicine for a combined 47 years. They are all Doctors of Medicine (MD), hold Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees, and are board-certified in Occupational Medicine. In addition, Dr. Schumpert is a Fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Dr. Hewitt is also board certified in General Preventive Medicine and Public Health and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology. Click here to read more about our physicians.
How long does an IME take?
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment. On average, IMEs last one hour. Due to our tight schedule, we will not be able to see you sooner if you arrive early.
Will I see the doctor again for a follow up appointment or treatment?
Because the IME physician is not a treating doctor, no follow-up appointments will take place with the IME physician who examines you. In rare cases, a second IME may be requested to address additional questions. The REOH physician who examines you will not be assuming care or directing future treatment for your occupational or environmental injury/illness.
Will a copy of the IME report or diagnostic test results be provided to me?
After your IME is completed, the REOH physician who examined you will provide a written report to the party who scheduled your appointment. You may request a copy of the IME report from REOH staff.
In conjunction with your IME, the REOH physician who examines you may order diagnostic studies or screening tests to address IME questions. You will not return to this office after diagnostic studies are completed, nor will REOH contact you regarding the results. Test results will be sent to the party who requested your appointment. The final IME report will also include a summary of the test results.
Should I bring anything to my appointment?
You do not need to bring anything to your IME. The requesting party of your IME will provide REOH with past medical records. However, you may bring any other materials to your appointment which you believe may be helpful for the physician to review during the evaluation. Click here to review REOH paperwork prior to your appointment (we will provide paper copies to sign at our office). Note that we do not have childcare available during your appointment and animals/pets are not allowed in our facilities.
Where are your offices located?
The primary office for REOH is in Missoula:
210 East Pine Street, Suite 100, Missoula, MT 59802
Our Billings office is located at 303 N. Broadway, Suite 816, Billings, MT 59101
Where can I park?
For directions and parking information please visit our Contact page. For Missoula appointments, we will provide you with change for the meter (located at the center of the block).