As you may know the Victorian ombudsman has raised questions about preferential use of IMEs by claims agents. The response of WorkSafe has been to centralise the bookings for psychiatric assessments. One of the issues has been that IMEs had been required to agree to block bookings although subsequently we have been told that this is not a requirement but those who have not agreed to block bookings have not received appointments. We have heard from WorkSafe that eReports have boasted that they have bulk bookings available. WorkSafe have denied this and have claimed that the ‘corporates i.e. eReports and others only provide offices and typing. IMEs who do work for eReports have told me that this organisation organises appointments, billing, rooms if required, typing and for those reasons is very convenient. I have also heard that the corporates have block bookings and fill them using different IMEs. The issue of course is that problems identified by the ombudsman with regard to claims agents appear to have been kicked further down the track as any sensible business model for one of these corporates, the bulk of whose work is for defendants, suggest that they would prefer to use some IMEs than others.
Watch this space. This matter is by no means over.