2014 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 85A. Administrative Workers' Compensation System
§85A-112. Independent medical examiners.

85A OK Stat § 85A-112 (2014) What's This?

A. The Workers' Compensation Commission shall create, maintain and review a list of licensed physicians who shall serve as independent medical examiners from a list of licensed physicians who have completed such course study as the Commission may require. An independent medical examiner must agree to examine an employee within forty-five (45) days of appointment. The Commission shall, to the best of its ability, include the most experienced and competent physicians in the specific fields of expertise utilized most often in the treatment of injured employees. The period of qualification shall be two (2) years. Physicians may be qualified for successive two-year periods. Physicians serving as independent medical examiners on the effective date of this act shall serve the remainder of their respective two-year qualification periods and may reapply for successive qualification periods. The Commission may remove an independent medical examiner from the list for cause.

B. An administrative law judge may appoint an independent medical examiner to assist in determining any issue before the Commission. In the event surgery is recommended by a treating physician, upon request of the employer, an independent medical examiner shall be appointed to determine the reasonableness and necessity of the recommended surgery. Such independent medical examiner shall be qualified to perform the type of surgery recommended.

C. An independent medical examiner shall be selected from the list of independent medical examiners within ten (10) days when the employer or the employee petitions the Commission for the selection of an independent medical examiner. The independent medical examiner shall be certified by a recognized specialty board in the area or areas appropriate to the condition under review.

D. The Commission shall, to the best of its ability, maintain a geographic balance of independent medical examiners.

E. Counsel for the employee and employer are responsible for transmittal of the employee's medical records to the independent medical examiner within ten (10) days of appointment.

F. After a physical examination and review of medical records and other appropriate information, including depositions and surveillance video, the independent medical examiner shall submit a verified written report to the Commission and to the parties. In the event the independent medical examiner determines that more medical treatment is necessary, the employer shall designate a treating physician to provide the indicated treatment.

G. Any independent medical examiner selected pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be reimbursed for the medical examination, reports and fees in a reasonable and customary amount set by the Commission, and these costs shall be borne by the employer.

H. The Commission shall create a review process to oversee on a continuing basis the quality of performance and the timeliness of the submission of medical findings by independent medical examiners.

I. If the Commission does not follow the opinion of the independent medical examiner on any issue, the administrative law judge or member of the Board of Review shall set out its reasons for deviating from the opinion of the independent medical examiner. The opinion of the independent medical examiner shall be followed unless there is clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.

J. Upon receipt of an independent medical examiner's report, any party shall have the right to object to the introduction of the report into evidence. The objection must be made by giving written notification to all parties and to the Commission within ten (10) days after receipt of the report. The employer shall be responsible for the reasonable charges of the physician for such testimony, preparation time, and the expense of the deposition.

Added by Laws 2013, c. 208, § 155, eff. Feb. 1, 2014.

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