AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment 6th edition (second printing April 2009) Remains Version of Guides to be Used for IREs in Pennsylvania

Last Updated: Jul 7, 2021

Pursuant to Act 111 of 2018, the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 6th edition (second printing April 2009) is to be used by physicians when conducting impairment rating evaluations (IREs).

Prior to 2017, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act provided that physicians could use the “most recent edition” of the AMA Guides. However, in the case of Protz v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that this provision was an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority by the state legislature to the AMA and struck down this section of the Workers’ Compensation Act. As a result of this case, the Pa. General Assembly enacted Act 111 of 2018 to codify the “6th edition (seconding printing April 2009)” as the AMA Guide to be used for purposes of IREs.

Effective July 1, 2021, the AMA considers “Guides 6th edition 2021” as the most recent edition of the AMA Guides. However, despite this latest edition, the “6th edition (second printing April 2009)” remains the statutorily required edition to be used in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society is working to address the inconsistency between the legislative mandate and the most recent clinical guidelines. Physicians should continue to use the “6th edition (second printing April 2009)” version of the Guides for IREs until a legislative update amends the Workers Compensation Act to recognize any newer editions. 

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