What is an AME or QME? How do receive a Panel List?
As workers’ compensation attorneys, we often find ourselves using industry slang or acronyms to describe certain things. Two of the most commonly used acronyms in Sacramento workers’ compensation cases are AME and QME.
Simply put, an AME is an Agreed Medical Examiner and a QME is a Qualified Medical Examiner. If your workers’ compensation claim is being delayed, denied, or if you have reached a stage in your treatment where you need to be evaluated to know the extent of a permanent disability, you may need either an AME or a QME. Sometimes, an AME or QME is also used if you have a disagreement with your treating physician about your medical condition.
The physician who performs your examination and evaluation is called a Qualified Medical Examiner (QME). If you are represented by a workers’ compensation attorney, the attorney and claims administrator may mutually agree to utilize an Agreed Medical Examiner (AME).
How do I obtain a Panel list of QMEs?
If you are not represented by an attorney, you have the right to request a panel of physicians who are selected by the Department of Workers Compensation Medical Unit. Here is a link to the request form.
The most common and critical mistake injured workers make is selecting the wrong type of QME physician. While the list looks simple, it can be hard to decide which physician is best for your case. The Department of Workers’ Compensation recognizes 42 different types of medical examiners, including 11 different types of internal medicine doctors. It can be overwhelming!
Additionally, certain types of physicians are generally more skilled with complex cases involving cumulative or pre-existing injuries. If you have a serious workers’ compensation injury, there is nothing that prohibits you from requesting a QME on your own, but you run the risk of selecting the wrong type and/or wrong person, and potentially prolonging your case. It is at this juncture that it may be best to seek the advice of a workers’ compensation attorney.
Once you have submitted the request to the Department of Workers’ Compensation Medical Unit, they should send you a list of three QME’s for you to choose from. The panel is usually sent 20 working days, or 30 calendar days after your request is made. Once you have this list, you have 10 days to select and make an appointment with that QME. Then you need to inform the claims representative that you have selected a QME and when your appointment is scheduled.
If you have additional questions about an AME or QME or about obtaining a panel, please do not hesitate to contact one of the workers’ compensation attorneys at Eason & Tambornini, ALC. If you would like to select an AME instead of a QME, please give us a call so we can determine if your case is one we can assist you in handling.