Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Small Businesses and Local Governments
of Proposed Amendment of 12 NYCRR 300.2 (IME Regulation)
- Effect of rule:
Approximately 2300 political subdivisions currently participate as municipal employers in self-insured programs for workers' compensation coverage in New York State. These self-insured local governments will experience no adverse effects under the proposed amendments to the rule which are designed to ease the strict technical requirements of the regulation while upholding the underlying purpose and requirements.
For the same reasons, small businesses that are self-insured will also be unaffected by the proposed rule.
Small businesses that derive income from independent medical examinations (IME entities) are a regulated party and the proposed regulation creates a process for rescinding their registration as an entity authorized to derive income from independent medical examinations. Rescinding such an entity's registration effectively ends the entity's ability to derive income from independent medical examinations. There are currently one-hundred-eighty IME entities registered with the Board. Since the adoption of this regulation in 2001,  five IME entities have had their registration rescinded and thirteen have voluntarily withdrawn their registration. The process for such rescission in the proposed regulation provides for notice and fair hearing prior to a decision regarding rescission of such registration. This protects an IME entity's due process rights.
Individual providers of independent medical examinations who own their own practices or are engaged in partnerships or are members of corporations that conduct independent medical examinations also constitute small businesses that will be affected by the proposed rule. As stated previously, the proposed amendments are designed to ease some of the technical requirements of the existing regulations.
- Compliance requirements:
Entities that derive income from independent medical examinations will be required to adhere to the rules governing the conduct of independent medical examinations and all other legal requirements or risk losing their registration with the Board.
- Professional services:
It is believed that no professional services will be needed to comply with this rule.
- Compliance costs:
This proposal will not impose any compliance costs on local governments. The proposed amendment does not increase the registration fee of $250 for IME entities. However such registration fee will be payable every three years by small businesses that are IME entities. The registration fee is intended to defray some of the Board's costs in administering IME entities.
It is the Board's best estimate that the overall savings that could be achieved through the implementation of this regulation could range between $1.2 million and $1.6 million per year or $300,000 -$400,000 per quarter. This was determined by adding the number of IME-3 forms to the number of attachments submitted with the IME-3, and then multiplying the result by 32.999 cents per page.
- Economic and Technological Feasibility:
No implementation or technology costs are anticipated for small businesses and local governments for compliance with the proposed rule. Therefore, it will be economically and technologically feasible for small businesses and local governments affected by the proposed rule to comply with the rule.
- Minimizing adverse impact:
This proposed rule is designed to minimize adverse impacts due to the current regulations for small businesses and local governments. This rule provides only a benefit to small businesses and local governments.
The proposed amendments do increase the registration fee for IME entities that may be small businesses. Furthermore, such increase is necessary to defray the Board's costs for administering IME entities. Every IME entity is required to post the registration fee, thus no one group's burden is increased. Calculation of the $250 registration fee as an annual cost is little more than $80 per year. As each independent medical examination costs at least several hundred dollars, $80 should not significantly impact even a small IME entity that is in business for a year.
In addition, several of the IME entities that have had their registration rescinded or have voluntarily withdrawn their registration, did so because they failed to pay the examiners conducting the IMEs and other bills associated with running an IME entity. The requirement that every IME entity pay a registration fee of $250 at the time it registers would discourage proliferation of IME entities that are undercapitalized.
The alternative would be to leave the registration fee as a one-time payment. This would result in the Board and ultimately the taxpayers of New York State absorbing the costs of administration of this for-profit industry.
- Small business and local government participation:
The Board received input from a number of entities who derive income from independent medical examinations as well as providers of independent medical examinations. Not only did the Board receive written communication but met with IME entities and spoke with some examiners.
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