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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1994;27(3): 627-651.
A Comparative Study on Evaluation Methods of Permanent Impairment in Korea.
Chang Ok Rhee, Jung Keun Choi, Mi A Son, Ok Ryun Moon
Department of Preventive Medcine, School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Korea.
ABSTRACT
In this study, literature review was done to examine and compare the current status and problems of different evaluation approaches toward permanent impairment in Korea. Alternatives and improvements in the current approaches in Korea were suggested. Series of cases were also examined to compare different approaches applied to the real cases, using 105 cases from a hospital data and another 207 cases from insurance company data. The main findings of the literature review are as follows; 1. The current evaluation methods of permanent impairment in Korea are grouped into two categories, grading and rating. Grading of impairments are expressly specified in 17 various statutes. 2. In Grading methods, the rigid system of 14 different grades has been adopted uniformally for the convenience of administration, which may not be, appropriate or valid from medical and scientifical aspect. 3. The advantage of McBride method is assessment of occupational disability rate. However the classified compensable occupations are only 280 and limited to manufacturing industries in 1960s' of U.S.A., which is not appropriate to current Korean circumstances. Especially, the job list does not include managerial officers or mental workers. 4. AMA Guides is the scientific and reasonable method for the assessment of physical impairment rate. However compensation and reparation of impairment case is difficult because this method cannot assess the disability rate according to occupation, age, etc. The results of cases comparative study are as follows: 5. The physical impairment could be compared in 167 out of total 312 cases and for the cases of complex impairment, McBride method underestimate physical impairment rate compared with AMA method. 6. When disability rate was assessed, occupation was considered the compensation of only 85 cases, and age was used in only 21 cases. This was because occupation and age compensation in McBride method are unreasonable. 7. The most ideal alternative is to assess physical impairment according to AMA method and then to develop a compensation method appropriate for the circumstances of Korea society.
Key words: permanent impairment; physical impairment rate; disability rate; impairment grading method; McBride method; AMA Guides
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