The Division Independent Medical Exam (“DIME”) Program was enacted to minimize litigation arising out of a party’s dispute with the treating physician’s MMI or impairment finding. A DIME is performed by an independent physician assigned to the claim. The doctor reviews the medical records, performs a physical exam of the injured worker, and writes a narrative report summarizing their MMI and impairment findings. The DIME physician’s findings on MMI and impairment are binding and can only be overcome by clear and convincing evidence. In place since 1991, the DIME procedure is outlined in Rule 11 of the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Rules of Procedure.
On January 1, 2019 the DIME rule will see a significant overhaul, with the changes effective on that date. One of the primary updates to the Rule is an increase in the DIME physician fee. The increased DIME fee is designed to encourage additional physicians to participate in the program, and to fairly compensate the physicians for their time.