ImpairmentCheck® (www.impairmentcheck.com) assists claims professionals and attorneys in improving the accuracy of impairment ratings based on the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. It is a screening and educational tool that provides guidance on probable impairment for most ratable injuries and collects data for continuous quality improvement. The system is based on unique web-based patented technologies (8,185,410; 8,615,411) ImpairmentCheck® may be integrated with other best practices processes to assure the most cost-effective management of impairment ratings, either post-rating or proactive rating management.

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Key Benefits
  • Provides expert guidance for ratings based on the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Editions. (Guidance developed by Christopher R. Brigham, MD, Editor, Guides Newsletter and Guides Casebook, Senior Contributing Editor, AMA Guides – Sixth Edition.)
  • Assists in assuring impairment ratings appropriately reflect the actual impairment associated with an injury.
  • Easy to use, available 24/7 with immediate results.
  • Compares your ratings with commonly observed values, and obtain guidance on management of the rating, clinical issues, maximum medical improvement (MMI), and the impairment assessment process. Therefore, you will make an informed decision on managing the rating.
  • Includes over 2500 physicians in United States and Canada in its database; others may be added.
  • Offers information for a specific injury on the probable impairment and date of MMI to proactively manage the case.
  • Records data useful for claims management and continuous quality improvement; you may pool data among groups.
  • Low cost annual subscription with no additional fee per evaluation. Ten day free trial.
 
A study involving the analysis of more than 6,000 cases revealed a disagreement rate of 78% with expert rating values averaging 10% whole person permanent impairment less than the original rater. (Brigham CR, Uejo C, Dilbeck L, Uehlein WF. Impairment Ratings: Observations Based on Review of More Than 6,000 Cases. Guides Newsletter, March / April 2010). Depending on jurisdiction, this difference may reflect several thousands of dollars. The annual subscription fee is a small fraction of this amount. Therefore, correcting a single report is likely to result in a return on investment several fold – and the user has access for all cases 24/7 for a year.
 
Evaluate Impairment Ratings
 
With ImpairmentCheck® the user specifies the body region, the diagnosis, the impairment value assigned by the rating physician, the Edition of the Guides that was used, and a case/file number. Optionally, the user may specify the injury date, evaluation date, and rating physician (selecting from a list of over 2500 physicians or adding a physician).
 
 
On submission, the data is compared to Brigham and Associates, Inc. national database of expert ratings for this diagnosis to determine whether the rating is consistent with expected value and to provide the user with information about that impairment. The user receives an immediate report assessing the impairment value (comparing the one submitted to expert values) and providing information on the diagnosis and rating. The rating assessed may, or may not, be supportable. There may be reasons why a specific rating is higher or lower than the usual value associated with the diagnosis. The dashboard graphically demonstrates the findings:
 
 
A discussion of the rating for this case compared to the observed expert average and recommendations are provided:
 
 
If there is a significant difference the user will want to carefully review the rating and/or involve an expert (internal or external to the organization) to determine if the rating is supportable.

Information on maximum medical improvement is graphically displayed:
 
 
ImpairmentCheck® provides references to sections and criteria from the Guides and a detailed discussion of the correct rating approach. (Users of ImpairmentCheck® should have available a copy of the Guides for reference.)
 
 
You are provided with a discussion of the most common errors with reference to the Guides. Therefore, you can determine if these errors may have been made.
 
 
Proactive Impairment Management
 
ImpairmentCheck® is also used proactively to determine the average impairment value associated with a diagnosis and the probable date of maximum medical improvement. This is used for reserving purposes and to define when it is probable an impairment rating should be obtained. The user specifies the body region, the diagnosis, and the Edition of the Guides to be used, and the date of injury, and is provided with guidance:
 
 
Guidance on the rating process is also presented:
 
 
This information may be provided to the rating physician in advance of the evaluation to assist in developing an accurate impairment rating.
 
Reports - On Demand
 
ImpairmentCheck® collects all the data submitted by the user and this data may be used for continuous quality improvement. Reports are provided for case entries, diagnoses and summary, and physician profiling. The reports are displayed on demand and may be exported as Excel (.xls) files.

Reports related to physician performance on rating impairment using your company's data are available. These reports compare the average impairment reported by each physician to the average impairment expected. (There may be reasons why physicians differ from the average; for example, a physician may see cases of different complexity than the average or the physician may tend to under or over rate.)
 
 
Subscribe Today
 
ImpairmentCheck® is available on a subscription basis or a per case basis with monthly batch billing. The annual subscription fee is a fraction of the value associated with one unit value in a rating– yet you have access for all of your cases for a full year. Consistent use of ImpairmentCheck® will increase the accuracy of ratings and provide value to your organization.

Claims organizations may elect to pay on a per case basis with periodic batch billings (monthly or quarterly).

Each claims professional (adjuster) and attorney will have their own individual account so they can manage their specific cases. Each client has a designated administrator and specific users. Each user can view their own cases and the administrator may view all of their cases. Clients may associate themselves as a group and pool non identifying data to profile large datasets providing more insight to physician performance and the impairment values associated with specific diagnoses.

ImpairmentCheck® can be integrated into claims management software systems with an application program interface (API).

ImpairmentCheck® is offered with a no-risk 10 day trial. Subscribe now and more effectively manage impairment ratings. If integrated into your claims management processes it is probable that this system will provide a high return on investment.