As Coronavirus-related restrictions phase-out, more Minnesotans, including a significant number of healthcare workers, including nurses, are contracting Coronavirus (COVID-19). In fact, on May 20, 2020, the Star Tribune reported that “health care workers constitute 1,949 of Minnesota’s 17,029 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19.” 
What is an independent medical examination?
An independent medical examination, or IME, is performed by a doctor at the request of an insurance company in a workers’ compensation case. Despite the title this medical examination will not be independent. The exam will not be conducted by a neutral third-party doctor, rather it will be performed by a doctor of the insurance company’s choosing. Often, large insurance companies will use the same doctor or group of doctors to perform these examinations. The insurance companies pay these doctors directly for the examination and a written report.
As Minnesota first responders may know, the Minnesota legislature recently passed legislation to create a workers’ compensation statutory presumption for those individuals who contract COVID-19 while performing first responder duties (Minn. Stat. § 176.011). Hopefully, this legislation will serve to provide immediate workers’ compensation medical expense and wage loss coverage for our State’s first responders who are at greatest risk for contracting COVID-19 while engaged in critical services in our communities.