HomeVA ProstheticsVA Handbook 1173.16 - Driver Rehabilitation for Veterans with Disabilities ProgramAppendix C - Medical facility Procedures Regarding Referral and Request for Driver Rehabilitation

16.19. Appendix C - Medical facility Procedures Regarding Referral and Request for Driver Rehabilitation

1. A Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility requesting the transfer of a patient for the purpose of providing driver rehabilitation needs to initiate the procedure through its Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service (PM&RS) or appropriate rehabilitation care line. The facility needs to make an application, at least 30 days in advance, to the Chief, PM&RS, through the Business Office at the receiving facility. The minimal requirements include:

a. A recent medical summary adequate to determine the feasibility for driver rehabilitation.

b. Four basic types of medical information, which may affect a veteran's ability to drive, need to be addressed:

(1) Conditions which affect one's ability to perceive the environment because of loss of consciousness (as in epilepsy) or the limitation of a single sense (such as vision).

(2) Conditions which alter one's judgmental processes; e.g., mental health problems, senile changes, or brain damage.

(3) Motor and/or sensory response conditions which limit the ability to respond rapidly to changes in traffic.

(4) Diseases such as alcoholism, which may impair all three types of functions.

c. If any of the preceding medical conditions impair driving ability, the medical examination must be sufficiently detailed to allow PM&RS physicians at the VA facility to make an informed decision regarding medical appropriateness.

d. Current PM&RS examination including the Functional Independence Measure (FIM), or other appropriate self-care assessment.

e. Auditory examination and visual examination.

2. The Chief, PM&RS, and staff, upon receipt of the application, determines acceptability of the applicant and sets a reporting date for admission to the program. Transfer is accomplished by Standard Business Office Procedures. Spinal cord patients (non-traumatic and traumatic) are to be admitted on the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Service. Other appropriate patients are to be admitted to the medical rehabilitation inpatient unit or other appropriate cost effective setting.

3. The Driver Rehabilitation Program covers a maximum period of 10 working days (intra- medical facility patients). Upon completion of the training, the patient is then transferred back to the patient's original facility, as mutually arranged.

4. The Driver Rehabilitation Program covers special reviews as requested by the Department of Motor Vehicles to discuss the patient's driving records and/or physical disability.

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