Emerging Best Practices

Functional Recovery

Basics about the pilot

  • Functional recovery questionnaire (FRQ) piloting began in March 2013. The COHE community of Eastern Washington actively uses the FRQ. Starting in 2016, the pilot expects to start using functional recovery interventions (FRI) for testing and development.
  • The pilot tests interventions with patients screened as high risk for disability. (Without interventions, nearly 40% of high-risk patients will still be off work 1 year after injury.)
  • Health Service Coordinators (HSC) in the COHE community will review newly injured workers in pilot providers' care who have missed 2 to 4 weeks of work. HSCs will contact these injured workers to complete the FRQ. HSCs will contact providers if their injured worker patient has an FRQ that is "positive." The provider will pursue interventions and treatments to prevent the injured worker from digressing into long-term disability.
  • The pilot's participants are COHE providers primarily from the greater Spokane and Yakima areas, as well as additional COHE mentors in eastern Washington. We will incrimentally add additional COHEs after piloting finishes in late 2016.
  • The newly implemented Occupational Health Management System will help identify workers that may benefit from an FRQ. We expect the tool to support health service coordinators and health care providers. 

How providers are benefitting by participating

  • Notification about patients who screen as high risk.
  • Assistance from COHE Health Services Coordinator that reduces requests for information from L&I, employers, and vocational counselors.
  • Learning to use new tools that better address root issues.
  • Receiving incentive pay for tracking interventions through 2 or 3 visits, as needed.
  • Being able to get help from the L&I manager with any pilot-related administrative issues.

Anticipated results of the pilot

  • Shortened treatment duration.
  • Reduced use of avoidable diagnostics.
  • Reduced medical costs.
  • Improved communication and coordination of care.
  • Improved outcome for the patient: earlier return to function, work and quality of life.


Contact Brian Peace at Brian.Peace@Lni.wa.gov or 360-902-6803.

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