The Ohio State Neuropsychology Service completes independent medical examinations (IMEs) and fitness for duty evaluations (FFDs). IMEs and FFDs completed by neuropsychologists typically include a clinical interview and administration of neuropsychological and psychological measures to characterize an individual’s cognitive and psychological status. Test results are characterized in the context of available school, medical and work records; clinical implications are determined and recommendations are offered when relevant.
These evaluations differ from clinical evaluations in terms of their purpose and the intended recipient of the results. With IMEs and FFDs, the neuropsychologist is hired by a third party, typically to clarify the presence or absence of cognitive impairment and whether any identified changes in cognition could be expected to affect work performance or disability. The intended recipient of the results in these cases is the referral source, not the individual being evaluated.
Note that a physician referral is not required for these evaluations because they are paid for by the referring agency. We are happy to connect you with our billing specialists to determine the cost of these services.
Independent Medical Examination (IME)
Independent medical examinations (IMEs) are conducted to obtain an independent clinical opinion regarding an individual’s functioning, often in the context of an insurance disability claim or worker’s compensation claim related to an injury or illness. IMEs conducted by neuropsychologists can help determine:
- The presence or absence of neurologic and/or psychiatric disorders
- Causality related to a specific event or injury
- Medical necessity of treatment
- Disability status
Fitness for Duty Evaluation (FFD)
Fitness for duty (FFD) evaluations are similar to IMEs, except that the referring source is an individual’s employer or employment agency. With these cases, an employer is typically concerned that an employee may not be working at his/her former capacity, often in the context of observed decline in work performance. The employee may be referred to a neuropsychologist if cognitive impairment and/or psychiatric disturbance are considered relevant contributors to the observed performance deficit.
An FFD evaluation will characterize an employee’s cognitive strengths and limitations and help to determine:
- Etiology of observed limitations, when possible, based on available medical information
- Whether performance would be expected to improve following treatment and/or implementation of formal work accommodations and what those accommodations might include