We in the worker's comp world are well aware of the role the American Medical Association (AMA) Guidelines for the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment play in our daily lives. It is upon this tome that injured workers in Connecticut are adjudicated their just due under section 31-308 of our General Statutes. Unfortunately, as with so many things, the new issue of the "AMA Guidelines" can raise more questions than it answers.
When the AMA published the Sixth Edition of its Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, it contained new language that restricted chiropractic evaluations to the spine only. The restriction drew sharp criticism from the American Chiropractic Association. In a letter to the AMA, the ACA questioned the legality of restrictive language related to evaluations by doctors of chiropractic and accused the AMA of violating the permanent Wilk injuction.
The AMA responded by issuing a correction. The Guide will state in relevant part that: "Impairment evaluation requires medical knowledge. Physicians duly recognized by an appropriate jurisdiction should perform such assessments within their applicable scope of practice and field of expertise." AMA will be mailing out the correction and future publication of the Guide will contain the corrective language.