Functional Evaluations
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When Should You Order a FE?
Trigger For Ordering a Functional Evaluation:
  • Physician requires clinical direction.
  • Need to establish a baseline study.
  • Help to identify plateaus in treatment.
  • Lack of patient progress.
  • Pre surgery to assess specific injuries.
  • Post surgery to evaluate the success of surgery.
  • To determine MMI.
  • Days out of work exceeds norms.
  • Subjective complaints do not match physician's objective findings.
  • Patient’s restrictions needed for case settlement.
  • Claimant is frequently unable to sustain recommended work levels.
  • Need to determine functional abilities and levels of effort within suspicious claims.


  1. Patients:

    • All new patients with a musculoskeletal complaint (that the referring physician needs a FE) are recommended to be assessed on the second visit.
    • Once the physician has determined a diagnosis, he/she can utilize these tests to further evaluate a patient’s condition, as well as track the patient’s progress.
    • 1A. Follow up Patients:
      • All new patients who are tested on the second visit can be retested within approximately 5 weeks to track patient’s progress and/or regression.

  2. Treating Patients:

    • These tests can be recommended during the middle of treatment if the referring physician needs a FE to further evaluate a patient’s condition.
    • To establish more detailed treatment protocols for patients. This is also useful to help with patient retention, as well as establishing medical necessity.
    • 2A. Treating Patients Follow-up:
      • All patients who are tested should be retested within approximately 5 weeks to track what progress has been made.

  3. Pre & Post-Surgery Patients: :

    • Establish a functional baseline data study for pre-surgery. The independent test identifies functional deficits, as well as quantifies the motor and range of motion losses.
    • This will demonstrate to the patient exactly how much functional loss they had pre-surgery, in comparison to post-surgery.
    • 3A. Post-Surgery with Rehabilitation Follow-up:
      • These tests will monitor progress through the rehabilitation process, with the overall surgical outcome upon MMI.

  4. Concluding Patients:

    • These tests can be performed on patients who have reached MMI and/or patients with permanent impairment ratings.

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