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Scope of IME: Ordering Tests

At the July 2013 WAWCA seminar, there was a spirited debate on the question of whether an injured worker could be forced to submit to a functional capacities evaluation if requested by an independent medical examiner as part of an examination under sec. 102.13, Stats.  Although not directly on point, Ronald Rasmussen v. County of Winnebago Sheriff, WC Claim No. 89064444 (LIRC  Dec. 23, 1994) set parameters on diagnostic testing under sec. 102.13, Stats. that may provide guidance on the question debated at the seminar. In Rasmussen, the applicant refused to submit to a bone scan recommended by the independent medical examiner which would have helped differentiate between diagnoses. The Commission declined to say that the applicant was required to submit to the bone scan and stated:  "The commission acknowledges that sec. 102.13, Stats., requires an applicant to submit to examination, and that an employer may suspend benefit payment on a refusal to do so.  However, the commission is not persuaded that the term 'examination' encompasses diagnostic testing that requires an inspection (sic - injection?), particularly where the test is apparently not determinative in rendering a diagnosis. Under these circumstances, the commission cannot conclude that the administrative law judge erred on this point."