By law, a "dispute" arises when one of the following two (2) conditions is met: (a) two (2) or more physicians have issued differing permanent medical impairment ratings ("dueling doctors" scenario) to a Claimant, and the parties disagree as to the applicable medical impairment rating in the claim (or) the authorized treating physician has assigned permanent, functional restrictions, but has issued a zero percent (0%) permanent medical impairment rating or opined that the Claimant has sustained "no permanent impairment." The MIR doctor's assigned rating carries a legal presumption of correctness, which can only be overcome by "clear and convincing" evidence to the contrary. The legal authority governing the MIR Program is codified within the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Act. See Tenn. Code Ann. ? 50-6-204 (d)(5).
Background Information concerning the MIR Registry
The Medical Impairment Rating ('MIR') Registry program is commonly referred to as the State's "Super Doc" Program. Specifically, it is a statewide listing, which consists of approximately one hundred and fifty (150) to two hundred (200) physicians available to perform impairment rating evaluations. An MIR doctor is to concentrate only on the issue of permanent medical impairment, and not issues of causation, apportionment, permanent restrictions and/or appropriateness of medical treatment. Included on the MIR Registry list, are orthopedics, neurologists, psychiatrists, occupational physicians, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, pulmonologists, internists, and other specialists.
Physicians must undergo a requisite degree or level of training on how to apply the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, for inclusion on the Registry.
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