A Physician's Guide to Rule 8-8 through 8-13, Audio Recording of Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs)
Do all IMEs need to be audio recorded?
Only respondent (employer or insurer) requested IMEs need to be audio recorded.
Does the Division require a specific type of recording equipment for use in respondent requested IMEs?
No, but the recording must be saved in a digital format. Rule 8-10 and Rule 18-7 (G)(5) provide information regarding audio recording and fees.
If the parties to the claim want to use their own audio recording during the examination, is this allowed?
Yes, according to C.R.S. 8-43-404 (2)(a), any party to the claim can make their own audio recording of the examination.
When the patient arrives for the appointment, does the physician need to notify the patient that the examination will be audio recorded?
Rule 8-9 (B) states the examining physician shall verbally notify the injured worker that the examination will be audio recorded.
What if the recorded examination is inaudible or does not record?
Per Rule 8-13, the parties may file a motion with an Administrative Law Judge if they cannot agree on a resolution. Each dispute will be considered individually and determined based upon the specific facts in existence so that the Administrative Law Judge may fashion an appropriate remedy. Generally, the striking of the IME report will be the appropriate remedy. If the examining physician was responsible for the faulty or inaudible recording, the examining physician may be required to repeat the examination without additional payment. If another party was responsible for a faulty or inaudible recording that party may be required to pay for a repeat examination.
What can the medical provider bill for the IME recording?
The Medical Fee Schedule Rule 18-7 (G)(5) includes code Z0766 for the audio recording and code Z0767 for a copying fee of the recording.
After the examination do I need to store the recording?
Yes, the recording must be stored for 12 months, unless there is an order from an Administrative Law Judge to the contrary. (Rule 8-12.)
Do I still need to provide a written report?
Yes, the written report is considered the main product and should be completed and sent to both parties as per standard protocols. Per C.R.S. 8-43-404(2), After any examination conducted under this section, the examiner shall prepare a written report giving a description of the examination performed, the written documents, or any other materials reviewed, and all findings or conclusions of the examiner.
Should I automatically give the two parties a copy of the recording when the IME is complete?
No, you must keep the recording until it is requested. If 12 months have passed from when the written report was issued and no request has been made, then you may destroy it (Rule 8-12).
If either party wants a copy of the recorded examination, what is the process?
The party must make a written request for the recording within 20 days from the date of the written report of the examination.
The written request should include:
- The address to send the recording
- A payment of $24 to your office for the recording
If a party requests a copy of the audio recording, regardless of which party makes the initial request, the first copy of the recording is provided to the injured worker. The injured worker has the right to listen to the recording and determine whether there are matters discussed in the examination that are not related to the work injury and are confidential. The patient has 15 days to raise an allegation to the Division and the other party that there is information on the recording that should not be disclosed. Once the 15 days terminates and the patient has no allegations, then the insurer can request a copy of the recording.
If the injured worker makes the initial request for a copy of the recording, they shall be responsible for the cost of the copy and it must be sent to them within 15 days of their request.
If the employer/insurer makes the initial request for a copy of the recording, it shall be responsible for the cost of the copy provided to the injured worker. The physician may require payment prior to releasing a copy of the recording.
Division of Workers' Compensation
Division Independent Medical Exam Unit
633 17th Street, Suite 300
Denver, CO 80202