What is a “rationalized medical opinion?"
For Federal Workers injured on the job, you have the burden of establishing that the condition or injury you are seeking compensation for is causally related to a specific employment incident (accident) or the specific conditions of your employment.
Causal relationship is a medical issue. The medical evidence generally required to establish causal relationship is “rationalized medical opinion” evidence. What does this mean? Rationalized medical opinion evidence is medical evidence that includes a physician's rationalized opinion on whether there is a causal relationship between the employee's diagnosed condition and the compensable employment factors. The physician needs to spell out in their reports a specific and accurate history of employment incidents or conditions which are alleged to have caused or exacerbated the diagnosed condition.
Registered nurses and physicians' assistants are not "physicians" within the meaning of the Federal Employees' Compensation Act(FECA), so reports from these individuals are not competent evidence and cannot be used to establish the necessary causal link of the injury to the conditions of your employment.
A rationalized medical opinion, means that the statement from your doctor is supported by a medical explanation. The opinion should list pertinent exam findings, test results and other objective findings that were relied upon in forming the opinion.
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