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Medical Referrals for Driver Evaluations

Rosamond Gianutsos, Ph.D., FAAO, CDRS is a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist and a Psychologist specializing in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation. I offer a Clinical Driver Evaluation for persons with known or suspected cognitive impairment which could affect their ability to drive safely. Many older people and persons who have acquired brain injury are candidates. Your patient will need medical clearance which should accompany your prescription for a Clinical Driver Evaluation.

I spend from 3 to 4 hours with the individual and family, usually at their home. In addition to paper and pencil tests, my evaluation includes computerized perceptual testing of roadway signage and the Elemental Driving Simulator. These procedures are validated measures that clearly and fairly reflect the demands of driving. The objective is to determine if the individual can perform like other drivers. By the time we are done, we will have discussed the findings and my recommendations. I will then prepare a report which will be shared with the individual, you as referring physician, and whoever else they indicate. There is no mandatory reporting law in NY State, nor is there immunity for a concerned provider who reports without patient consent. So, I will only send a report to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles if your patient asks me to.

My $400. fee is not covered by most insurances, particularly Medicare, or insurances that are supplemental to Medicare. I will prepare a bill upon request, which the patient can submit for reimbursement under non-Medicare insurance.

If a person also has physical disability which will require adaptive equipment, then they probably should go to a full service driver rehabilitation center with a CDRS, such as the facilities at Kessler Rehab in NJ or at Helen Hayes Hospital.

The NYS DMV places no visual field requirements if best corrected visual acuity is 20/40 or better. However, people with suspected visual field loss, e.g., with diagnoses of acute onset brain injury / stroke, diabetic retinopathy, or glaucoma should have a perimetric visual field study. Visual field loss is often un- or under-recognized by the individual. While New York drivers with visual field loss can drive legally, careful evaluation is essential to determine if they can drive safely.

I would be glad to be of service. You and your patients may contact me at: 718 457-7483,, fax to 888 688-8042. Best time to call – 7:30 to 8:30 AM. If your call is not returned in 24 hours, call again!