§17106. Medical board
1. Establishment. The board shall designate a medical board to be composed of at least 3 medical providers not eligible to participate in any of the retirement programs of the retirement system. The board shall make a good faith effort to appoint medical providers to the medical board who are from those fields concerning which the Maine Public Employees Retirement System receives the greatest number of applications for disability retirement benefits.
[ 2017, c. 88, §14 (AMD) .]
2. Other medical providers. If determined advisable by the board, the board may designate other medical providers to provide medical consultation on disability cases.
[ 2017, c. 88, §15 (AMD) .]
3. Powers and duties. The medical board is advisory only to the retirement system. The medical board or other medical providers designated by the board shall review the file of an applicant for disability retirement and:
A. Recommend an additional medical review in those instances where there are conflicting medical opinions; [1985, c. 801, §§5, 7 (NEW).]
B. Recommend additional medical tests to be performed on an applicant to obtain objective evidence of a permanent disability; [1985, c. 801, §§5, 7 (NEW).]
C. Assist the executive director in determining if a disability review of a recipient of a disability allowance is warranted; [1989, c. 409, §§1, 12 (AMD).]
D. Provide a written report of its analysis of how the applicant’s medical records do or do not demonstrate the existence of physical or mental functional limitations entitling an applicant to benefits under chapter 423, subchapter 5, articles 3 and 3-A, or chapter 425, subchapter 5, articles 3 or 3-A; and [2009, c. 322, §6 (AMD).]
E. Advise the retirement system whether there are medical indications that a person who is the recipient of a disability retirement benefit under chapter 423, subchapter 5, article 3-A or chapter 425, subchapter 5, article 3-A should not engage in a rehabilitation program or whether a recipient is too severely disabled to benefit from rehabilitation in accordance with the purposes of chapter 423, subchapter 5, article 3-A or chapter 425, subchapter 5, article 3-A. [2009, c. 322, §6 (AMD).]
[ 2017, c. 88, §16 (AMD) .]
4. Medical evidence. The provisions of this subsection apply to medical evidence used for a disability retirement determination.
A. The retirement system shall consider the applicant’s disability application, medical records and the medical board’s analysis in making a disability retirement determination. [2009, c. 322, §6 (NEW).]
B. Explicit or implicit preferential weight may not be afforded any medical evidence or source of evidence, whether provided by the retirement system, its medical board or contracted examiners, or by any member, in connection with the application, review or hearing processes. [2009, c. 322, §6 (NEW).]
C. When addressing the weight to be given any medical evidence upon which a determination to award, deny or discontinue benefits is made, the retirement system, hearing officers and board of trustees shall consider, at least, the expertise of the medical source, the foundation of information upon which the opinion is rendered and its consistency with other medical evidence in the record. [2009, c. 322, §6 (NEW).]
D. The retirement system shall offer to review the decision and the records supporting that decision with the applicant prior to issuing a determination. [2009, c. 322, §6 (NEW).]
[ 2009, c. 322, §6 (NEW) .]
1985, c. 801, §§5,7 (NEW). 1989, c. 409, §§1,2,12 (AMD). 1995, c. 643, §4 (AMD). 2007, c. 491, §79 (AMD). 2009, c. 322, §6 (AMD). 2017, c. 88, §§14-16 (AMD).