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Morgan’s Tip of the Week – Impairment Ratings

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Greetings, according to the Fla Admin code, medical providers in Fla Workers’ Comp are to use the 1996 Florida Impairment rating schedule to determine impairment ratings.  I’ve attached a link below to the actual guides.

 

Often we see issues arise in this area, and if the rating looks off, we should always check. 

  • Sometimes providers use the AMA guides instead of the 1996 Florida Guide.   In liability cases in Florida, the AMA guide is used, and they often get confused.
  • Each injury has an assigned rating, but that is just for that portion of the body, it needs to be converted to a “whole person” rating.  So it’s a 2 step process.  Sometimes providers don’t convert it to the whole.
  • Two plus two doesn’t always equal four.  There is a chart that shows how to combine ratings from more than one body part, and its not simple addition.
  • Sometimes you can’t get a doctor to even assign a rating.  And per the Gauthier case, the statute of limitations does not run unless the Impairment benefits are paid, if any would be due. In the past,  I have taken the appropriate section from the guides, calculated what I can determine (if possible), and sent it to the doctor to sign off.
  • But….don’t go playing doctor.  Sometimes the rating is clear and other times it takes the doctor measuring aspects of the injury such as range of motion, etc….Here is a link to the Guides.

https://www.genexservices.com/hs-fs/hub/171716/file-18449401-pdf/docs/1996_fl_impairment_rating_schedule.pdf