Submitted: July 24, 2017
ORDER REVERSING ORDER DIRECTING MEDICAL
M. SANDLER, JUDGE
Claimant appeals an Order Directing Medical Examination, in
which the DLI ordered her to attend a second IME with the
insurer's chosen psychologist for the purpose of
obtaining a neuropsychological evaluation to determine if she
is a candidate for a spinal cord stimulator.
The Order Directing Medical Examination is reversed. The
Act does not allow an insurer to designate a psychologist to
be both its independent medical examiner under §
39-71-605, MCA, and the consulting psychologist for
claimant's treating physician under § 39-71-1101,
MCA. At this time, the insurer has not established good cause
for a second IME with its designated psychologist because
claimant has not first undergone an evaluation with the
treating physician's chosen psychologist.
1 Claimant Jody Ross appeals the Department of Labor and
Industry's (DLI) Order
Medical Examination, made pursuant to § 39-71-605(2),
MCA. Without explaining the reasoning for its decision, the
DLI ordered Ross to attend a second independent medical
examination (IME) with John Harrison, PhD, for the purpose of
obtaining a neuropsychological evaluation to determine if
Ross is a candidate for a spinal cord stimulator. This Court
reverses the DLI's Order Directing Medical Examination.
2 The following facts are from the DLI's record,
statements of uncontested facts from the parties' briefs,
and from the Exhibits the parties attached to their briefs on
3 On April 10, 2013, Ross suffered shoulder and neck injuries
in the course and scope of her employment. Victory accepted
liability for her claim.
4 Ross treated with Kenneth Brewington, MD, who performed
neck surgery on
26, 2013. Because Ross continued to have shoulder pain, she
treated with Larry Stayner, MD, who surgically repaired her
left shoulder in September 2014. Dr. Stayner noted symptoms
of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Thus, Dr. Stayner
referred Ross to Steve C. Kemple, DO, a pain specialist.
Since the spring of 2014, Dr. Kemple has been Ross's
treating physician for CRPS.
5 On May 11, 2015, Ross underwent an IME with John Schumpert,
MD. Dr. Schumpert does not think Ross has CRPS. Instead, Dr.
Schumpert believes Ross has somatic complaints.
6 On June 22, 2015, Dr. Stayner stated that while he agreed
with Dr. Schumpert's opinion that Ross was at maximum
medical improvement for her neck and shoulder injuries, he
disagreed with Dr. Schumpert's opinions that Ross does
not have CRPS and that her complaints are somatic. Dr.
Stayner stated Ross clearly had signs of CRPS on her
7 In September 2015, Dr. Kemple considered a spinal cord
stimulator for Ross and requested she undergo a
neuropsychological evaluation with psychologist Terry Reed,
PhD. Victory denied Dr. Kemple's request for a
neuropsychological evaluation with Dr. Reed. Instead, Victory
scheduled a neuropsychological IME with John R. Harrison,
8 Dr. Harrison conducted his IME on November 17, 2015. Dr.
Harrison concluded that Ross has somatic complaints and was
not then a candidate for a spinal cord stimulator. Dr.
Harrison recommended additional counseling.
9 On January 8, 2016, Dr. Kemple agreed that Dr.
Harrison's IME satisfied his request for a
10 Ross underwent the counseling Dr. Harrison recommended.
11 On March 8, 2017, Dr. Kemple issued a Medical Status Form
in which he stated his treatment plan for Ross included a