Okay. Your report is your best marketing tool. If you have a good comprehensive report and you do a thorough job and you address the issues, the attorneys know that. And they will tell other attorneys in your office, “Well, this doctor is good for IMEs.” And then, other attorneys know that, especially if you give a deposition, even the opposing attorney will know what kind of a job you did. So, your report has to be thorough.
Now, you should do a thorough examination on every case, not skimp. Let me tell you why. When I was a treater, I got a consultation on the Psych unit to do an evaluation. Patient couldn’t walk. Okay. Reviewed the chart. I examined her. She couldn’t feel from here down, she had spasticity, she had hyper reflexes at the knees and ankles, she had bilateral clonus of the ankles. Okay. She had a spinal cord tumor.
So, I wrote that up, I dictated it, got back to the office and I called the psychiatrist. “Jack, thank you for the referral.” He says, “Yeah, Tony, can you help her?” I said, “No, she’s got a spinal cord tumor.” “A what?” And I told him why. I said, “Get a neurologist, evaluate her, work her up, get a neurosurgeon to operate, remove the tumor, then I’ll put her on the rehab unit. And Jack, don’t let it slide.” “Don’t worry, I won’t.” It’s exactly what she had because I knew my office manager, her husband, was a surgical assistant and he knew about the case coming to surgery and they got to talk. “Who found it?” “Well, Tony Dorta, the physiatrist found it.” Okay. So, the moral of the story is do a thorough examination each time, don’t skimp.
Be sure you read and sign your report before it goes out. Okay. No rubber stamps sent out to expedite delivery of it without reviewing. Don’t do that, it looks cheap.
Have good matching stationery, envelope, preferably other than white because if your report is in a bunch of stacks of other documents, they could pull it out right away, if it’s a different color.
Listing in professional directories, SEAK, the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners, ABIME. Now, when it says American Board, it’s not an ABMS Board. That’s just the name. It’s an organization like the American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians now has changed their name to the International Academy of Independent Medical Evaluators of which I’m past president of. Those are organizations that teach you how to do impairment ratings, review the chart, and different types of examination.
Now, of all the directories, I find SEAK to me is the most valuable one. I get the highest type of cases from SEAK although I am listed in other directories as well. Now, also with ABIME and with the International Academy of Independent Medical Examiners, you take the course, you take an examination, you pass it, you get a certificate. That adds to your credentials.
Keep track of your referral sources. Make a list. Who’s sending you what from where? And if you get a referral, call the person up and discuss the case. What is it you really want me to address? This way you make a personal contact. And I don’t charge for that. That’s part of marketing.
Address the issues that you’re asked and don’t go beyond that because you address too many issues, you open up a can of worms. Remember I told you about…that if an impairment rating is addressed by the treating doctor, if you come up with an impairment rating that’s at odds with that, especially if it’s higher, now it’s a problem.
Excerpted from SEAK’s stream on-demand course, “How to Start, Build, and Run a Successful IME Practice”