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AMA GUIDES...

AMA guides… The Iowa Work Comp Commissioner requires the ratings be given pursuant to the fifth edition of the “AMA Guides.”  Workers need to be alert for this problem and make sure that their rating is given pursuant to the fifth edition. What happens is that the insurance industry will ask the doctor to rate an injury based on the sixth edition of the AMA guides.  These guides are put together by a committee of doctors and insurance people sitting around the table at a high-priced resort and quibbling about how much money injured workers get.  Then the committee issues a new set of Guides, and claims that this “new and improved” version of the Guides is more fair than the previous version of the Guides.  The trend has been that each successive edition of the AMA Guides results in a lowering of the impairment ratings.  What was a 10% rating to the body in the AMA third edition can now be 5 – 8% rating to the body in the AMA sixth edition.  By lowering the number the worker receives for the exact same injury from the doctor’s rating you lower the amount of money the worker receives.  So it makes a difference which guide is used. Here in Iowa a committee of lawyers, insurance company representatives, and employer representatives has determined that the Fifth edition of the AMA Guide is the best measurement of disabilities that can be rated.  The Commissioner has demonstrated leadership in this area by stating that impairment should be given based on the fifth edition of the AMA Guides.  Make sure that is happening in your case.  Otherwise give us a call.

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Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P.

Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P.
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West Des Moines, IA 50265

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