In Verizon v. WCAB (Ketterer), the Commonwealth Court ruled that a physician must have an active clinical practice, i.e., the physician must provide preventive care and the evaluation, treatment and management of medical conditions, at least 20 hours per week, in order to be qualified to perform Impairment Rating Evaluation under Section 306(a.2)(1) of the Workers’ Compensation Act, 77 P.S. § 551.2(1). Although this decision is consistent with the plain language of the Act, the employer had argued that the Court should adopt a more subjective standard that would have allowed physicians who do not regularly treat patients, i.e., physicians who make their living performing IMEs and the like, to perform IREs.
Practice tip: Always ask the IRE physician (or any expert witness) about his or her qualifications. While most experts are qualified, you should always verify the information, just in case.Dan Siegel and Molly Gilligan of the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC served as co-counsel with Kenneth Brodsky, Esquire in this matter.