Functional Medicine Evaluations: When Should They Be Used?
Functional Medicine Evaluations (FME’s) are medically integrated Independent Medical Evaluations (IME) and Functional Abilities Evaluations (FAE):
- An Independent Medical Evaluation is used to determine the cause and extent of an individual’s injury through an objective third-party assessment.
- A Functional Abilities Evaluation assesses whether an individual has physical limitations that would restrict them from performing their job or normal daily living activities.
A Functional Medicine Evaluation, a combination of the two, is used to determine if a claimant has a measurable physical impairment, the nature and cause of the impairment, whether the impairment results in any disability, and the type of treatment or accommodation to improve the impairment and/or disability.
The overriding objective of the Functional Medicine Evaluation is to determine if someone can safely perform work-related or normal activity without causing further injury or damage. It also strives to identify the root cause of the physical impairment so an appropriate treatment program can be identified and recommended in order to facilitate the claimant’s return to work.
When a Functional Medicine Evaluation is performed, the physician combines a clinical assessment with an objective functional evaluation so return to work capabilities can be accurately determined – in an unbiased way.
The characteristics that make Functional Medicine Evaluations effective for assessing return to work capabilities are:
- FME’s are performed by physicians and combine a physical examination, assessment of the patient’s health history and functional testing
- They provide a detailed evaluation and diagnosis, in a safe environment, of physical tasks that a patient can and can’t perform
- Functional testing results are correlated to clinical dysfunctions identified during the physical examination
- The functional testing can be safely performed by patients of either gender in the 18-65 age range
- Physical tasks performed during the evaluation “simulate” tasks performed on the job during a typical workday
>> Since 1991, AssessMed has assisted organizations by providing objective Independent Medical Examination (IME) services across Canada. Contact us today to learn about our suite of CARF-accredited offerings.
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