by Paul Tauriello, director, Division of Workers’ Compensation
Featured in the November/December 2016 Colorado Medicine.
This year marked the 25th anniversary of the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation Independent Medical Examination (DIME) program. To honor this milestone, on Oct. 20 we had the privilege of hosting our first-ever DIME Appreciation Soiree, sponsored by the Colorado Medical Society at the governor’s mansion. The purpose of the event was to honor over 150 current and past DIME physicians for their years of service on the panel, and to let them know they are appreciated for the service they provide to the citizens of Colorado. Their dedication has not gone unnoticed.
For those unfamiliar with the DIME program, the process was implemented to provide an independent examination of medical issues relating to maximum medical improvement and impairment disputes in a workers’ compensation claim. A party to a claim must first obtain a DIME if they wish to dispute a treating physician’s conclusions at hearing. The process was intended to reduce litigation, and it has proven effective since inception. In fact, statistics from 2015 show 3,205 DIMEs were processed and only 6.08 percent of those cases actually continued on to a hearing before a judge. The impact this has made in the workers’ compensation system is significant, as it has reduced claims costs and made the process more efficient to all parties involved.
The success of the DIME program would not be possible without our invaluable partnership with the participating physicians across our state. The Colorado Medical Society has been an instrumental part of this relationship through their support in educating physicians and their commitment to improve the workers’ compensation health care system. It is our hope that events like the DIME Appreciation Soiree help promote our common goal of cultivating the best quality health care in Colorado. The Division values the relationship we have developed with CMS, and we look forward to our continued partnership in the future.
CMS staff and members mingled with DOWC staff at the DIME Appreciation Soiree on Oct. 20. From left to right: CMS CEO Alfred Gilchrist; Daniel Sung, DOWC manager of medical policy; Lynn Parry, MD; CMS President Katie Lozano, MD, FACR; Paul Tauriello, DOWC director; and CMS President-elect M. Robert Yakely, MD.