Aeroflow Mobility Blog

mobility evaluation

What to Expect at Your Mobility Evaluation

You’ve contacted a power chair supplier, hopefully Aeroflow, and you’ve scheduled your mobility evaluation so your doctor can complete the paperwork for your insurance to help cover your chair. However, you aren’t sure what to expect at this mobility evaluation. I mean, even the appointment sounds strange. What in the world is a mobility evaluation?

Simply put, it’s a physical exam where your doctor will make a case for why you need a power chair to get around. They’ll do this by completing a seven element order form and documenting why you need the power chair, in their office notes. Your supplier will fax the doctor the paperwork or mail it ahead of the appointment. At Aeroflow Healthcare, we send three pages, a cover page (not shown below), a 7 element order form, and office notes guidelines to help your doctor document everything your insurance company is looking for.mobility evaluation

As you can see, this form is a fancy version of a prescription that gives the insurance company an overview of what equipment you need, what diagnosis you have and your doctor’s signature. While, this looks simple, everything has to be filled out correctly with no cross outs or white outs. If any corrections are made, the prescribing doctor has to initial and date their changes. To be safe, you should see if the doctor can fill out the form at your appointment, or at the least ask to make they have recently done this paperwork so they’re aware of the process.

After reading the guidelines we send your doctor, you should be relieved that this appointment is basically a few physical measurements, like your upper extremity and lower extremity strength along with a series of statements your doctor needs to make about why you can’t use other equipment alternatively to the power chair. For instance, after the physical exam if your doctor decides that you’re too weak to safely operate a walker, manual chair or scooter then they would need to specifically state that about each one. Your doctor could easily do this by stating something like: The patient’s UE and LE strength is: 2/5. Due to their UE and LE weakness the patient can’t use a walker inside their home because they would be at a high fall risk. The patient can’t propel a manual chair inside their home due to their UE weakness and the patient can’t use a Scooter inside their home because their UE is too weak to safely operate the scooter’s tiller system. That’s the majority of the documentation your doctor has to do (other than their standard physical examination report).

The rest is basically that you can safely use the equipment and what you need to use the chair for inside your home. For instance, your doctor could state something like: The patient has the physical and mental abilities to safely operate a power chair inside the home. The patient is willing and motivated to operate a power chair inside their home. The patient can safely transfer to and from a power chair. The patient needs the power chair to get to the bathroom on time and to get to the kitchen to prepare meals.

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All and all that’s what a mobility evaluation is-an appointment where your doctor will take some objective measurements (strength, pain, range of motion and etc). This will support their specific statements about why you can’t use other equipment and to ultimately build a case for your insurance supporting why they should pay for your power chair. It’s important to note that while the example above is simple, insurance companies are strict when they review your doctor’s documentation so everything must be specifically stated. Also, the objective measurements must match the claims your doctor makes. For example, if your doctor says you can’t use a manual chair due to UE weakness but gives a 4/5 UE strength measurement, then that won’t work. As silly as that sounds, we receive paperwork daily with similar examples.

If you have any further questions about what you should expect at your mobility evaluation, please call us at 844-380-0820. To see if your health insurance will cover the costs of your mobility equipment, please fill out our Qualify through Insurance form.

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