Multiple evaluation methods, including formal tests, interviews, questionnaires and other standardized procedures, will be administered by or under the direction of the neuropsychologist named above. These tests and procedures will be administered, scored and interpreted according to the scientific literature and professional guidelines.
The evaluation is conducted to provide information about your functioning and to answer specific referral questions, which will be discussed with you at the outset of the evaluation. The results may not be valid for other purposes, or after a significant period of time has passed since the evaluation.
In particular, when an individual is involved in a lawsuit, or when there is a reasonable expectation that a lawsuit will emerge, the purpose of neuropsychological evaluation, and the use of the resulting information, differs. An evaluation conducted under normal clinical circumstances (i.e. for the purpose of making diagnostic or treatment recommendations) is likely to be insufficient for addressing the much higher demands of a forensic neuropsychological examination, in which the resulting information is heavily scrutinized by the opposing attorney and others with a clear interest in challenging the findings. Multiple differences exist between normal clinical evaluations and forensic evaluations, making it necessary to be clear from the outset which type of evaluation is being conducted. If you believe you require a forensic evaluation (i.e. you are involved in, or may become involved in, legal actions related to the symptoms or injury for which you are being evaluated), you must inform the neuropsychologist of this at the time the appointment is made (or as soon as possible thereafter), so that appropriate arrangements can be made with your attorney, and so the testing can be planned appropriately.
INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EVALUATIONS
An IME (Independent Medical Evaluation) is a second or independent opinion requested by the referring person (some agency, attorney, state regulatory body, judge, case worker, etc.) to describe, verify or clarify some mental condition that relates to legal and/or insurance proceedings. In some cases, it is because there is some disagreement about your functioning or condition which the IME is attempting to resolve. In other cases, the issue is to decide some course of action based on your cognitive or psychological functioning.
An IME is designed to be independent, or objective. The results or outcome cannot be known ahead of time, as it may either confirm or refute earlier findings, or produce results that make you happy or unhappy. Regardless of who requested the evaluation, the results will not be “shaped” or “slanted” to favor one side or the other; every effort is made to make it truly objective. We cannot assure you that the results will help your case or that they will not actually hurt it. We have no interest in the results or outcome other than to guarantee the best, highest quality evaluation and report that can be produced. Even though you might be tempted to convince us of the legitimacy of your claims or complaints by your arguments, or by performing the way you think you ought to, please plan to give your very best, most natural effort throughout the evaluation process.
Ordinarily, when you see a doctor you are protected by laws pertaining to confidentiality, and you have the privilege of deciding who will get the results. In an IME, particularly the type where legal issues are critical, this privilege is limited. The attorneys, insurance company or other officials have more control in this situation. Once you agree to participate, the information becomes part of the legal proceedings and must be shared with the person(s) requesting the evaluation, or with attorneys representing both sides of the issue at hand. Your control is whether to participate in the evaluation at all, and you should make this decision on the advice of your attorney or other legal advisors before you arrive for the appointment.