Brief Overview of New Edition (6th) of AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment
History and Background Leading Up to Implementation of 6th edition-In 2005, a case study was performed, which revealed that only 20% of rating physicians were accurately using the 5th edition to assign permanent medical impairment ratings.
-The chief editor of the 6th edition is specialized in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He has no orthopedic experience or training. Thus, many of the newly introduced concepts and shifts of emphasis within the 6th edition contradict the way many orthopedics evaluate their examinees. Further, earlier this decade, the 6th edition editor had several articles published that were highly critical of the 5th edition. He was apparently set on making on wholesale changes within the 6th edition due to philosophical differences, and certainly met his objective.
Introduction of New Conceptual Themes and Shifts of Emphasis within 6th edition-In the 6th edition, there is an increased concentration on activities of daily living (ADL's). Elements factored into vocational disability such as the impact on an individual's ability to perform ADL's now comes into play with assigning permanent medical impairment ratings.
-The calculation of assigned permanent medical impairment ratings focus heavily on diagnostic classifications. Modifiers within each classification will allow rating physicians to deviate within the diagnostic range due to both subjective and objective medical factors of the examination. This change makes the 6th edition very different from prior editions.
-The 6th edition generally limits physicians to rate examinees within the scope and expertise of their practice.