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Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)

What is FCE:

The purpose of Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is to evaluate the physical and functional abilities of disability claimants in order to categorize them for functional levels in an 8-hour day.


About FCE:

As its name implies, Funcitonal Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is an objective and comprehensive assessment of an individual’s ability to function. It is an important tool that is used to assist employers, physicians, payors, and attorneys in dertermining safe functional levels for an individual to return to work and provide objective information that helps lead to an appropriate plan of care or case closure.


Where is FCE performed:

An FCE is typically performed in a clinical setting by a licensed Occupational Therapist, together with a multidisciplinary team of licensed clinical support staff.

An FCE may be performed:

a)     after a work-related injury to determine work capability; before an individual is approved for disability benefits;

b)     after a person has been on disability, to determine if functional status has changed;

c)     prior to vocational retraining;

d)     in conjuction with a physician’s independent medical examination (IME); or

e)     before court cases for motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) or personal injury.



SELECTIVE REHAB address three critical components to formulate a determination of an individual’s current functional ability levels:

1)     An assessment of clinical function, to include diagnostic-specific deficits such as range of motion (ROM), strength, neurological dysunction, and stability.

2)     An assessment of functional ability, to include lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling, as well as positional tolerances such as walking, sitting, standing, bending, reaching, and hand function.

3)     An assessment of functional work tolerances. These are the factors that identify the individual’s tolerance to perform functional tasks and job-specific activities.


Features and Benefits of FCE:

Most of FCEs are performed for Work Comp, personal injury or disability management cases –

  • to determine if an individual can do their job – safely

  • to determine an individual’s motivation – or lack therof

  • to provide objective documentation for physician’s restrictions or an individual’s progress

  • to give objective documentation of abilities for vocational rehabilitation or impairment / disability determinationl


In most cases America’s business bear the direct and indirect costs of worker’s compensation and disability management – and the price tag is going up.


All FCEs performed at SELECTIVE REHAB are from Standardized functional testing protocols that follow the national FCE standard protocols and testing methods, which are legally defensible in courts.


Employers can use the objective data provided from the SELECTIVE REHAB FCE to determine a return-to-work strategy, eliminating many of the direct and indirect costs. Benefits of FCEs:

  • Identifies return to work ability

  • Provides an accuate assessment of tasks an individual is physically capable of performing – pertinent in transitional work or duty (re) assignment

  • Helpful when a comparison of present ability to job description is necessary, or to determine the appropriate physical demand cagtegory an individual can perform safely if not returning to the same position

  • Cost reduction through case closure – leading to greater productivity and profitability.


Physicians can use the objectivge data provided from SELECTIVE REHAB FCE to determine an appropriate plan of care, to help an  individual reach maximal medical improvement (MMI) or return to their pre-injury status.


Payors can use the objective data provided from SELECTIVE REHAB FCE to close cases.

  • Provides an independent, expert opinion for immediate action based on objective information

  • Uncovers evidence of inconsistency and symptom magnification

  • Reduces non-productive treatment utilization

  • Finalizes stagnated cases by providing objective data that leads to case closure

  • Determine maximum medical improvement

  • Can provide impairment or disability rating

  • Validates appropriateness and proper allocation of diability benefits




What is Work Conditioning Evaluation?


Work conditioning is an intensive, goal-oriented treatment program specifically designed to restore an individual’s systematic, neurological, musculoskeletal (strength, endurance, movement, flexibility, and motor control), and cardiopulmonary functions.


The objective of the Work Conditioning program is to restore the client’s physical capacity and function to the extent that the client can return to work.





What is Work Hardening Evaluation?


Work Hardening programs are interdisciplinary in nature and use conditioning tasks that are graded to progressively improve the biomechanical, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, metabolic and psychosocial functions of the individual in conjunction with real or simulated work activities. Work hardening provides a transition between acute care and return to work while addressing the issue of productivity, safety, physical tolerances and work behaviors.


Work hardening is highly structured, goal oriented, individualized treatment program designed to maximize the individual’s ability to return to work.


SELECTIVE REHAB has trained professionals to perform Work Hardening & Work Conditioning Evaluations.


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