Work Injuries, IME, and Records Review

Work Injury – Worker’s Comp

General Work Injury Policies

  • We evaluate and treat a full range of work injuries.
  • We understand the full breadth of the rules and regulations set forth by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (GA – SBWC).
  • Prior to each work-injury office visit, we will verify work-comp coverage and obtain a written authorization from the WC insurance adjustor.
  • Without a written authorization, we will NOT be able to continue treatment or evaluation.
  • If a certain medical symptom or injury or condition has been controverted by the employer or WC insurance company, we will NOT evaluate or discuss or treat that particular problem or issue.

Return to Work

  • We will make every attempt to return the injured employee back to work.
  • If the patient cannot be returned to work “full duty”, we will try to return them to “light duty” work, and prescribe restrictions or limitations.
  • If the patient has maximally recovered, we will delineate a disability rating using the AMA guidelines, and declare the patient as being at “MMI”.

IME – Independent Medical Examination

WHAT is an IME?

  • An Independent Medical Exam, commonly referred to as an “IME”, is a legal evaluation, usually requested by an insurance company, attorney, or some other involved 3rd party. These evaluations are strictly confidential, and the records are NOT released to any other requesting party.
  • As an IME Physician, we fully understand that we are NOT developing any doctor-patient relationship. We will NOT prescribe any medications, and we will NOT make any formal treatment recommendations to the patient.
  • Some diagnostic testing may be ordered to properly complete the IME, but these tests are scheduled and performed only with pre-approval from the insurance company or attorney.

HOW to schedule an IME:

  • Independent Medical Examinations (IME) must be scheduled by the employer, attorney, or insurance company. Prior to scheduling the appointment, please call our office and talk with the office manager to discuss our IME financial policy. We typically request pre-payment for the IME.

WHEN are IMEs scheduled, and how long does it take?

  • IMEs are scheduled at a mutually convenient time, and as quickly as possible.
  • A typical IME can take 60 to 90 minutes with the patient. This is followed by an additional 3-4 hours of medical records review and case analysis.

What questions are answered during the IME?

  • Typically, the IME-requesting party will ask a series of questions to be answered during the IME. All of these questions will be answered by Dr. Athni.
  • If additional testing is necessary to properly answer these questions, we will recommend any necessary diagnostic tests. If approved, we will schedule and coordinate these diagnostic tests.
  • Once the IME is completed, and if requested or necessary, Dr. Athni will call the IME-requesting party to discuss the case.

IME records are confidential:

  • As noted above, we fully understand the legal implications of an IME, and hence we will release the report only to the IME-requesting party. These records are kept in strict confidence, and will NOT be released to anyone else.


  • All cases are handled objectively without being influenced by any outside party. Dr. Athni will “call it like he sees it”.
  • For over 25 years, we have regularly seen patients referred by insurance companies (handling life insurance policies, disability insurance policies, workers compensation policies, etc), attorneys (representing both patients and employers), and directly from employers.

Oue experience with IMEs:

  • Dr. Athni has been performing IMEs for over 25 years. On average, we complete 10 Independent Medical Evaluations per year.


  • If there are any questions or concerns regarding IMEs, please call our office and speak with our office manager. If they cannot answer your questions, then Dr. Athni will speak with you directly.

Records Review

  • If an insurance company or attorney is involved in a legal case which requires a Neurological opinion, we will be happy to review the records and answer any pending questions.
  • The Medical Records Review will be purely objective, regardless of who is requesting the Records Review.
  • After the Records Review, Dr. Athni will be available to discuss the findings with the requesting attorney or insurance company.
  • A report of the Records Review will be generated and faxed to the requesting party.
  • Depending on the volume of the medical records, the review can take 1-2 weeks after receiving the medical records.
  • We expect pre-payment for these services.
  • The cost will be based on services requested, such as the volume of medical records, whether any imaging films need to be reviewed, and whether a telephone conference is also being requested.
  • Please contact our office to discuss these fees.

Concussion Assessment

  • Most people are familiar with football related concussions, but they are also quite common after work injuries.
  • Concussions occur after a closed head injury, such as can occur after a fall or car accident or some other accident.  It is very important to have such head injuries evaluated quickly and aggressively, and as soon as possible after the accident.
  • The symptoms associated with a concussion can be quite varied and unusual.
  • Some diagnostic tests we perform in the evaluation of a concussion include: an MR brain, EEG, and Neurotrax test.
  • Depending on the results of these tests, various treatment options will be discussed and recommended.

Office Hours

Mon: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Tues: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Wed: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Thurs: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Fri: 8:30 am to 12 Noon
Weekends & Holidays – Closed

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