The approach used to evaluate impairment by the American Medical Association has continued to evolve since it’s initial publishing in 1976, with their Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (or AMA Guides) mandated for use in many worker’s compensation systems.
The AMA Guides are a crucial tool as well as the final determining factor for injuries, in which the physician must rely regarding a claimant’s injury. The complete and current updated criteria can be found in the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Sixth Edition, released in 2007.
Many states utilize the AMA Guides as a starting point in determining whether there is a disability, as well as the extent of the injury and the level of impairment, which has a significant effect on personal injury, workers compensation, and disability claims.
AMA Guidelines and Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
According to the AMA Guides, the injured party must reach maximal medical improvement (MMI), to attain an impairment rating. It is necessary to determine that the patient is in stable condition and that no further treatment will reasonably improve their condition. If the patient has reached MMI without any additional problems or complications, the physician can proceed with the impairment rating.
Accurate Range of Motion (ROM) reports are one of the essential determining factors of musculoskeletal function, and are critical to any chiropractic or other physician in measuring impairment ratings and disability evaluations. Because major decisions regarding the ability to perform at work and disability and/or compensation claims are based on these reports, it is essential that they are consistent and precise, with little room for error.
The AMA has moved toward standardizing ROM testing with their publication of The Practical Guide to Range of Motion Assessment.” The goal of this publication is to provide a “thoughtful, detailed and illustrated description of a standardized approach to ROM measurement and recording.” It is intended to serve as a companion guide to the current AMA Guides, particularly for those looking to improve their accuracy and reliability in evaluating impairments in the spine as well as other extremities.
Understanding the importance that accurate and precise Range of Motion testing and reports has on disability and workers compensation claims, Kennebec’s P.R.O.O.F. Preferred offers the medical professionals a dynamic, “fill-in-the-blank” report-driven system that allows a physician to efficiently and accurately provide powerful and objective documentation. Because these reports are critical to developing proper treatment plans as well as providing objective and acceptable results, the P.R.O.O.F. Preferred can deliver the necessary results in an average of 60 to 90 seconds.
The P.R.O.O.F. Preferred ROM and Muscle Testing systems are available in wireless devices, coupled with a suite of easy-to-use, integrated software modules that deliver accurate and precise reports in a timely manner, a key factor in proving Medical Necessity.
For more information on Kennebec’s P.R.O.O.F. Preferred ROM and Muscle Testing systems, contact them today for more information or to register for a webcast with their resident rehab expert.