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The Impairment Rating: An Objective Indicator of Functional Ability

Serious injuries can happen anytime and anywhere. On the motorway, while performing work duties, or even at home. If the injury sustained is serious, these accidents may lead to legal or insurance claims. However, getting the person who was injured and the insurance company to agree on the magnitude of the injury is near impossible.

When these serious accident or injuries happen, there are often more questions than answers. How bad is the injury? How long will it take to heal? How will this affect the ability to work? Will this lead to a permanent disability? Is there a way to qualify for financial help?

Fortunately, the answers to these questions can come through working with a qualified medical professional. One such type of test, an independent medical exam (IME), allows the medical professional to evaluate what happened and identifies injury. Another type an evaluator might perform is called a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). In this physical examination, the injured person will perform different tasks to test their ability to perform normal daily activities. This allows the medical professional to evaluate the injured person’s capability to perform work related tasks. Both of these assessments evaluate whether or not the patient has an impairment – a problem that affects the body’s function and makes the patient unable to use their body as they did before the injury.  These tests might include evaluation of range of motion, strength, ability to balance, lifting, and more. 

There are a wide range of impairment types. Some might not be as concerning as others. One important distinction is whether or not the impairment is temporary or permanent. Impairments classified as temporary do not have the same bearing as a permanent classification. For those who have a permanent impairment, they are subject to receive an impairment rating.

An impairment rating quantifies the injury and scales the impairment’s severity. This rating is determined by a medical professional in an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) and takes place after the patient has reached their maximum medical improvement. The impairment is quantified as a percentage between 0 and 100. This rating acts as one of the most important pieces of information in a benefit claim to keep receiving financial aid. The results of the IRE appointment will help the injured person’s attorneys determine how long a person will receive benefits, the amount of benefits they will receive, and whether they are expected to be able to return to work. It carries immense weight in the determination of the extent of financial aid the injured may have entitlement to. 

The key personnel in these cases is the medical professional. Disagreements often arise between an injured person and an employer or insurance agent. Patients generally want the most compensation they can receive while employers or insurance agents may downplay the injury to avoid paying out extended benefits. While most people are honest about injuries, insurance fraud and mislabeling are concerning. Medical professionals act as the unbiased evaluator on the extent of the injury. Again, the amount of compensation the patient receives depends highly on the impairment rating.

The biggest help in an effective impairment evaluation is a medical professional’s own expertise and experience. The next biggest help is proper and professional evaluation tools.  The right tools aid a medical professional in turning subjective data concerning a patient’s injury into objective and measurable information– data that now proves use in helping clients receive the proper amount of compensation. JTECH Medical provides several robust computerized functional testing system options. JTECH’s Occupational Medicine Testing Systems offer all of the essential Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) testing equipment to objectively assess, document, and track a subject’s physical abilities. The same systems also contain all the instruments to perform an effective IME evaluation. After using the instruments, our advanced software easily generates narrative and graphical reports showing a summary, details, and history of each test. These reports will then help you generate impairment ratings based on the American Medical Association (AMA) guides. Your personal expertise paired with JTECH Medical equipment smooths out what can be very complex evaluations.

Together, we can elevate the patient’s path toward recovery and wellness.


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Occupational Therapy May Help Fortify Aging Populations

As populations age around the world, the difficult task of caring for conditions like dementia is being addressed by occupational therapists. The personally-targeted methods employed by OTs might help those who suffer dementia cope, or may even delay the onset, according to a report.

In Singapore, where the elderly population is rapidly growing, adding 300 to 400 more occupational therapists to a preventive care program could "significantly" reduce the negative effects of dementia, as opposed to a strictly "assisted living" approach that may not help with overall health and function in the long term.

"Getting dementia patients to carry on doing things helps them maintain their ability to function ... [and] having a maid do everything for them could result in a more rapid decline."

Preventive care services that focus on functional ability are seeing more widespread adoption all the time. What other new programs have you heard about or participated in? Let us know!

Read the Article 


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Section 179 HeaderSave On Expenses in 2019 with Section 179

As we approach the end of 2019, it is helpful to delve into some of the financial aspects of purchasing equipment for your practice in preparation for the upcoming tax season. Here are a few quick facts about Section 179 qualifying expenses:

Can I deduct the cost of equipment that I buy to use in my business?

Short answer: Yes, and there are two methods you can use.

The first option is to capitalize and depreciate under code section 167 using the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System(MACRS). JTECH’s devices are most likely five year life assets, and you can find the table published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which lists the depreciation percentages each year.

The second option is to capitalize and expense the equipment under code section 179. This allows you to write off up to 100% of the equipment purchases, but includes some caveats. You can only elect this option if you have net income, and the expense will only be applied to the extent of this net income.

Who is eligible for the Section 179 deduction?

Small and medium businesses can benefit greatly by utilizing Section 179. Recent changes to federal tax code have increased the maximum deduction up to $1,000,000 on capital expenses, with a cap at $2,500.000. The biggest stipulation is that equipment and software must be financed and in service by midnight December 31, 2019 to qualify.

How Much Can I Save on My Taxes in 2019?

It depends on the amount of qualifying equipment and software that you purchase and put into use. See the handy Section 179 Calculator that's fully updated for 2019 for an example of how much you can save.

What Sort of Equipment Qualifies in 2019?

Most tangible business equipment qualifies. Click here for qualifying property.

When Do I Have to Do This By?

Section 179 for 2019 expires midnight, 12/31/2019. If you wish to deduct the full price of your equipment from your 2019 taxes and take advantage of the higher deduction limits, it must be purchased and put into service by then. Many businesses are finding Section 179 Qualified Financing to be an attractive option in 2019, especially since the expected Federal Discount Rate increases don't leave much time for action. JTECH also offers in-house express financing on purchases, which include a shorter qualification process and no credit check. To learn more or to apply for our in-house financing, contact us today.

Does the Section 179 deduction apply if I finance my equipment?

Yes. For the purposes of the deduction, it doesn’t matter whether you finance the equipment or purchase it outright. The only thing that matters is the date in which it is placed into service.

What are some of the limits for the 179 deduction?

Section 179 does come with limits - there are caps to the total deduction ($1,000,000 for 2019), and limits to the total amount spent on equipment purchases ($2,500,000 in 2019). The deduction also provides a 100% bonus first-year depreciation for any amount over $1,000,000 spent by a given business, so this makes it a true small and medium-sized business deduction. Another point to consider is that purchases for the 179 deduction cannot create a loss in the business. You should consult a tax professional for guidance about the limits of Section 179. 

What do I need to do to elect Section 179 on my tax return?

To elect the Section 179 deduction, you need to fill out Part One of IRS form 4562, but your tax professional or software will guide you through the process step-by-step.

Can JTECH Customers receive a credit under the American Disability Act (ADA) for products that provide accommodations?

Based upon a liberal reading of the tax code under section 44, an aggressive approach would allow you to take this credit. The credit may not cover the entire purchase, but it may cover part. It is important that you consult your own tax professional to assist you with the determining whether your purchase qualifies and the calculation of this credit.

Are there both tax advantages and cash flow advantages to financing on-site through JTECH?

There can be both tax and cash flow advantages to financing through JTECH. When you finance, you are required to put less money down up-front, and you could still be allowed to write it off at 100% under Section 179. With the added potential credit from the ADA, you could end up with a win-win, which can result in positive cash flow for the year of purchase. It’s important to remember: the tax advantages all come for the year in which the equipment is purchased.

JTECH's in-house financing provides benefits such as low monthly payments, no credit check required, and it allows you to get started with a significantly smaller up-front investment. Utilizing the maximum potential deductions of Section 179 could result in saving thousands of dollars on your taxes, while your investment begins to make your business revenue.


For questions about how Section 179 applies to your capital equipment purchase, please contact JTECH Medical by phoneemail or chat today!

More information on Section 179 can be found at http://www.section179.org/.




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Handheld Dynamometers: What You Need To Know

For many years, the world relied on manual muscle treatments to evaluate motor impairments. Various manual range of motion testing solutions have been developed to help evaluate a patient’s strength. However, manual methods have a greater potential to lead to false impairment readings and poor evaluations. Because of the different standards, techniques, and performing methods manual treatments rely on, their results are subjective. The tools replacing manual methods provide a level of accuracy far superior to their manual counterparts.

Handheld Dynamometers Vs. Manual Testing

Currently, one of the greatest tools replacing manual muscle testing devices is the handheld dynamometer. Using manual methods, a health professional may ask the patient to push against their hand and then subjectively judge whether the force they generate is normal. A handheld dynamometer, however, takes the force a patient generates and transmits it through a transducer, quantifies the force, and then presents the data in a digital format. Health professionals can use this muscle strength testing equipment to measure muscle strength efficiently and effectively across the board. Reducing variability and increasing reliability gives health professionals the best information to effectively evaluate their client.

Equipment Advancements

Although listening for heart irregularities without a stethoscope is not impossible, the proper tools make the process much easier and far more accurate. The same goes for muscle treatments and the use of range of motion testing solutions. Using manual methods cannot compare to the accuracy a handheld dynamometry provides. Many clinical studies have found that the additional consistency this computerized range of motion testing equipment provides helpful in providing patients with the most effective treatment. By being able to measure muscle strength with consistency, providers are able to track progress over time, giving a more accurate sense of improvement, particularly for treatment of chronic pain. Chronic back pain, for example, is defined as pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer. Digital muscle testing equipment allows for consistency in measurement over these weeks.

Medical professionals ultimately need one key element to effectively evaluate and treat their patient: accuracy. Handheld dynamometers provide a level of reliability, consistency, and accuracy unmatched by manual methods. Pairing impartial data with professional expertise gives patients the best chance to reach their greatest physical abilities. For more information on dynamometry and other types of digital muscle testing equipment, contact JTech Medical today.


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Understanding the Tools Used for Physical Therapy

There are many rules of the road when it comes to exercise and improving one's longevity, but with exercise may come injury, and there are many physical therapy tools that could help with the process of recovery. Physical therapists practice a range of treatments and seek to better understand the bodies of each individual while managing their discomfort; although this is the case, meeting with a physical therapist can seem daunting to many people. To better the experience and overall content of the average PT visitor, this article will discuss tools and treatments to expand on the therapeutic experience.

The Healthy Body

First off, visiting a physical therapist does not automatically mean there is an injury; instead, someone may be looking to prevent injury in the future. Before beginning a therapy session, visitors must be honest with themselves and where their body is most vulnerable. Physical therapists will sometimes use an algometer — a handy tool used to access one's pain threshold by measuring pressure — and throughout the examination phase, they'll seek to better understand their body and find solutions as to how they can benefit a patient.

After the functional assessment, exercise in moderation is used for physical assessment. PTs may also use a muscle testing machine to assess a group of a patient's muscles — this machine could also come into use to measure improvement as therapy sessions progress. Dynamometer muscle testing is also a common tool used to better measure one's muscle exertion, and both of the mentioned tools could benefit the physical therapist as well as the patient. As most understand, the examination stages are crucial in getting the best idea of what patients need out of PT treatment.

The Injured Self

With time, it's possible for the healthy body to become injured, and depending on the injury, there are many things a patient could expect when visiting a physical therapist. Because back injuries are common among the generally active population, physical therapists will often seek to improve one's back problems. There are many physical therapy tools used for back adjustment, and one treatment is to use a spinal adjustment device — an effective tool used to restore the motion of one's injured vertebra.

Whether the injury stems in the back or not, pain is chronic in many cases, and this can indefinitely hinder someone's overall wellbeing. There are many rehab tools and systems used to promote the progress of an individual, and sometimes, easing the injured body is the only means of recovery. The right testing and treatment could completely restore one's ability to exercise and enjoy life.

Planning For Success

20 minutes of physical activity a day is enough to improve the longevity and health of an individual, and in unfortunate circumstances where the human body does fall under stress, there are many ways a physical therapist could help someone back to their better selves. PTs are crucial in the recovery stages, and the right testing and treatment implementations could minimize chronic pain conditions and even restore the health of an individual completely. Success is going to begin with proper physical therapy tools, efficient treatment methods, and a caring relationship.


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