Know the Law – Auto No-Fault Changes: Insurance Medical Exams

With the massive overhaul of Michigan’s auto no-fault system passing into law this year, Grand Rapids auto accident attorney Tom Sinas, is covering specific portions of this system that will change and affect Michigan residents. One of these areas includes independent medical examinations, or the right insurers have under the no-fault system to require injured victims to undergo a medical exam. Before the reform, insurance companies could require victims to be evaluated by the medical professional of their choosing, whenever they chose to do so, and under any circumstances. However, with the reform comes massive changes to this section of the no-fault law.

Auto No-Fault Changes - “Physician” Requirement for IMEs
Under the broad outlines of the previous no-fault law, insurers could request a medical professional of their choosing to conduct independent medical evaluations of injured auto accident victims. Oftentimes, this led to unqualified professionals evaluating these patients. Now, IMEs must be conducted by a licensed physician in this state or another that meets the new legislature criteria because of the changes to the auto no-fault law.

Specialization Requirements for IMEs
Furthermore, under the new legislation, IMEs are to be conducted by a licensed physician who specializes in the area that the injured person’s own doctor specializes in. In addition, if the injured person’s own doctor is board certified in a specialty, the insurance company doctor conducting the IME under the new law must also be board certified in that specialty as well.

New Exam Qualifications
The examining physician the insurance company is using for an IME must devote 50% or more of his or her time to the active practice of medicine or teaching medicine. This eliminates the longstanding problem of IME doctors performing these exams weren’t still practicing medicine. This ensures that IME doctors are actively and meaningfully engaged in the practice of medicine.

Hopefully with these narrower criteria regarding IMEs, more auto accident victims will get the coverage they deserve and the proper evaluation to ensure their medical needs are met.

For more information regarding these recent changes to the auto no-fault system, please visit sinasdramis.com where the firm provides a free, in-depth analysis of this recent reform. You can also contact Tom and his Grand Rapids staff at 616-301-3333.

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