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Jay Blaisdell
and
James B. Talmage

Abstract

This article provides an overview of the conceptual foundations of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides), Sixth Edition. Impairment assessment in the sixth edition underwent a “paradigm shift” compared to the AMA Guides, Fifth Edition, in which its impairment rating methodology is based on the World Health Organization's (WHO's) International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework. Impairment rating is but one of several determinants of disability, and the one most amenable to physician assessment.

in AMA Guides® Newsletter
Jay Blaisdell
and
James B. Talmage

Abstract

Appropriately assessing impairment mandates that the physician be familiar with the principles of assessing impairment, as reflected in Chapter 1, Conceptual Foundations and Philosophy, and Chapter 2, Practical Applications of the Guides. Based on this knowledge, the physician will then apply the processes and criteria provided in specific chapters. All impairment rating reports should be divided into three main sections: clinical evaluation, analysis of the findings, and discussion. To obtain the highest level of competency, the rating physician should be familiar with jurisdictional requirements that effectively supplant AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides) methodology.

in AMA Guides® Newsletter
James B. Talmage

Abstract

This is a brief introduction to maximum medical improvement (MMI), which is pertinent to permanent impairment assessment. The definition and explanation of MMI according to the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides), Sixth Edition, is discussed.

in AMA Guides® Newsletter
Steven D. Feinberg

Abstract

Many states have benefit programs (e.g., special fund, second injury fund, subsequent injuries fund, special disabilities trust fund) for people with significant pre-existing impairment and/or disability who are injured. Each fund has different rules and regulations. Some of these funds provide benefits to the injured worker, while others reimburse eligible employers and insurers. Physicians need to understand the specific requirements of benefit programs in their states. Evaluating physicians who understand the uniqueness of these programs will be better able to provide valuable services. This article provides insights into one such program, the subsequent injuries benefits trust fund (SIBTF) in California. To be eligible for SIBTF benefits, the injured worker must meet an “overall threshold” and an “industrial threshold” of disability to qualify for benefits. If these thresholds are met, the injured worker may receive additional compensation based on pre-existing (labor-disabling) disability. The pre-existing disabilities can arise from any source, including congenital, developmental, or acquired disease, prior injury, war injury, non- industrial injuries, or prior industrial disabilities.

in AMA Guides® Newsletter
Stephen L. Demeter
,
Lorne Direnfeld
,
Richard Katz
,
James B. Talmage
, and
Christopher R. Brigham

Abstract

We present a case involving a catastrophic injury that resulted from a completely obstructed airway when an examinee choked on food. She had cardiopulmonary arrest and developed a hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy associated with profound neurological losses. The evaluation of the consequences of severe central nervous system injury necessitates evaluation and rating of all the sequelae of that injury. The first step is clinical assessment, followed by thoughtful application of these data to the processes and criteria provided in the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides). The approaches discussed in the fifth and sixth editions of the AMA Guides are similar.

in AMA Guides® Newsletter