A long-standing criticism of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides) has been the inequity between the internal medicine ratings and the orthopedic ratings; in the comparison, internal medicine ratings appear inflated. A specific goal of the AMA Guides, Sixth Edition, was to diminish, where possible, those disparities. This led to the use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health from the World Health Organization in the AMA Guides, Sixth Edition, including the addition of the burden of treatment compliance (BOTC). The BOTC originally was intended to allow rating internal medicine conditions using the types and numbers of medications as a surrogate measure of the severity of a condition when other, more traditional methods, did not exist or were insufficient. Internal medicine relies on step-wise escalation of treatment, and BOTC usefully provides an estimate of impairment based on the need to be compliant with treatment. Simplistically, the need to take more medications may indicate a greater impairment burden. BOTC is introduced in the first chapter of the AMA Guides, Sixth Edition, which clarifies that “BOTC refers to the impairment that results from adhering to a complex regimen of medications, testing, and/or procedures to achieve an objective, measurable, clinical improvement that would not occur, or potentially could be reversed, in the absence of compliance.

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