We recently handled a claim in which we were attempting to get a finding of 50% degree of disability with regard to temporary rates in the record. Our IME had given an opinion of 50% based on her examination, but the treating physician had consistently opined 100%. We deposed the treating provider, who testified that his recent examinations were done through telemedicine, and that he was able to view the claimant sufficiently in order to make determinations for his exam report. We were ultimately able to get the treating physician to concede that telemedicine visits are less credible than in- person visits, and “compromised” for a variety of reasons – including that they are not “hands-on” with regard to testing for muscle spasm/tension during range of motion measurements, etc.
At the hearing which followed, the judge referenced our deposition transcript as “interesting,” and chose not to make any compromise on degree, but rather made a finding of 50% for all TR rates addressed.