Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)

MedCare is committed to providing diverse solutions in the management of industrial rehabilitation including workers’ compensation and disability issues. Our dedicated staff works one-on-one throughout the rehabilitation process; from scheduling of services to delivery of individualized programs. Programs start with injury prevention, extending through case management all the way to claim closure.

MedCare maintains a reputation of excellence in the community with its extensive experience in treating work-related injuries. You can rest assured; have confidence and trust within the industrial rehabilitation program. This program has been measured not only by benefiting the patient but the employer as well.

 

Are you a physician with a patient who sustained a work injury?

Perhaps an employer wanting to provide a safer, more productive work environment? Maybe you’re an insurance specialist wanting to reduce claims? Our goal is synonymous to your primary goals of:

  • Assisting with claim closure
  • Helping to prevent re-injury through patient education
  • Increasing flexibility and activity tolerance
  • Increasing strength
  • Improving function
  • Improving workers performance
  • Improving workplace safety

The Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is used to provide return-to-work recommendations to a patient’s physician following injury, surgery or illness. The FCE assesses whether an individual’s strength, flexibility, endurance, and body mechanics meet the requirements of a specific occupation or work activity. The FCE will provide useful information for a variety of applications, including:

  • Goal setting and treatment planning
  • Monitoring progress throughout patient rehabilitation
  • Return to work by matching job demands to the client’s abilities
  • Determining case closure
  • Assisting physicians with disability determination
  • Determining subject’s level of participation

 

There are two types of Functional Capacity Evaluations:

  • Baseline or Non-Specific FCE

The Baseline or Non-Specific FCE is an objective assessment of an individual’s ability to perform tasks associated with the general physical demands of work.

  • Job Specific FCE

The Job Specific FCE compares an individual’s physical ability to perform essential documented requirements as specified in the job description of a designated occupation.

An FCE focuses on specific job requirements on tasks rather than the individual’s aptitude, interests, or temperaments. It assesses the client’s posture, flexibility, strength, balance, coordination, lifting ability, cardiovascular tolerance and body mechanics.

A Functional Capacity Evaluation may be used to assess validity or sincerity of effort. This requires skilled observation and objective assessment which are documented in an accompanying report. FCEs serve as a valuable tool in case administration.

 

There are three distinct parts to the FCE. This includes:

  • Intake Interview
  • Physical Assessment
  • Functional Assessment

The evaluation requires between 3-5 hours to complete. A final report is issued within 4-5 working days and provides specific recommendations regarding return-to-work levels, patient performance including validity/reliability and additional considerations if indicated.

A physical therapist will perform all testing using an innovative, computer-based testing platform known as the Hanoun System. Hanoun enables and allows the clinician to customize and develop a functional test involving subjective questionnaires, cardiovascular assessments during activity, work simulation, strength testing and activity tolerance. The Hanoun System can be used not only during Functional Capacity Testing, but for Post-Offer employment testing, fitness for duty, and disability evaluations.

All our FCEs are performed by a licensed physical or occupational therapist with expertise in Industrial Rehabilitation and functional testing. Testing can be customized after the subject’s job description has been reviewed. Observation of the patient begins when the patient enters the clinic and concludes when they exit the facility. The FCE contains a written report utilizing the computerized report with comments on validity and recommendations for return to work for physician approval.

To maintain accuracy and consistency, the Hanoun System requires calibration of all force gauges, dynameters and static testing equipment. System protocol requires calibration minimum once every 2 weeks. The program will not allow testing if calibration is not performed. All evaluators are required to complete Hanoun Certification which includes formal education, a completion of sample testing using specified protocols on 4 individuals and passing a written examination.

From the injured workers perspective, the integrity of the test is verified by obtaining a detailed medical history from the client as well as the client’s description of the essential functions of the job being tested. Any discrepancy between the written job description and the client’s description is documented.

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