In Georgia, as long as an employee is receiving compensation benefits, then he shall submit himself to examinations ordered by a qualified physician. Independent Medical Examinations (IME) are common in workers’ compensation cases. They give the employer or the Board a chance to determine the medical status of the employee. If the employee refuses or in any way obstructs the examination then the Board may order suspension of the employee’s benefits until the refusal or objection ceases.
In some circumstances, the brief encounter between a physician and the employee during an IME may not be enough time and information for the physician to present his opinion on the medical status of the employee. In this situation, the IME physician may recommend or request another follow-up testing, such as a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) in order to confirm his medical opinion on the employee’s medical status.