What is an FCE?
FCE stands for Functional Capacity Evaluation. This Blankenship Method FCE that you will go through on the day of your tests is a detailed forensic process which is a series of evaluative tests that will measure your ability to work. Your treating physician has ordered this test as one of many tools and resources to accurately determine what a safe and acceptable physical demand level for you as it relates to the job you were performing at the time of your injury. A thorough review and history of your injury will be discussed prior to the start of any tests. You will be given several opportunities to ask questions to make sure you understand what the test is about, how the test will be administered and what information will be gathered from the testing process. You will be tested on your strength, flexibility, functional ability, material handling, and non material handling ability in numerous postures, positions and work simulated tasks. Each test will be thoroughly explained before the test is initiated. We will document your test results in several ways. A computer will be used in order to accurately measure, report and record the testing process and what you feel is safe and acceptable for you to perform as it relates to your particular injury.
Who may schedule an FCE?
An FCE must be ordered by a physician. They can be coordinated and scheduled by your Physicians Office, Case Manager, Insurance Adjuster, Vocational Specialist or Attorney. To schedule an FCE please call 275-7405
What is expected of me during my evaluation?
It is important for you to give your best effort during every test so that we can appropriately determine how your injury is affecting your ability to work. There are tests which will tell us if you are giving your best effort within your pain tolerance and there are indicators to determine if you are exaggerating your pain. These will be included in the written report; so give your best effort at all times and do not exaggerate your pain. We ask that you carefully read and understand the information listed below as it will prove to be valuable information for you as you prepare for our test.
What if I have pain and how will this affect my injury?
It is possible that during this evaluation your pain/discomfort may increase. We will take every precaution to make the evaluation safe. PLEASE read and understand the following guidelines.
l. Some pain may be normal when you perform activities, but this does not mean that you have been injured, or re-injured yourself. Since you are the one that feels your pain, you must determine how much increased pain or discomfort is acceptable to you. We will ask you periodically through the evaluation to describe how much pain you are experiencing. You will be asked to evaluate your pain based on a pain scale rating.
2. We do not expect you to perform activities that increase your pain to a level that you feel is unsafe or undesirable for you. We will not ask you to continue any test that is increasing your pain or that you feel is unacceptable for you.
3. We will ask you to attempt to perform many activities, but will not force you to do any activity that you feel is unsafe or that you cannot perform. If we see you doing anything that we feel is unsafe for you, we will ask you to stop.
4. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TAKE PAIN MEDICATION OR MUSCLE
RELAXERS PRIOR TO TAKING THE TEST, UNLESS TOLD TO DO SO BY THE REFERRING PHYSICIAN WHO ORDERS THE TEST. Taking pain medication and or muscle relaxers prior to the test could prove to worsen your injury or situation. Masking the pain or covering ‘what hurts’ may not allow you to decide when the tests are bothering you. Therefore, for your protection and safety do not take anything prior to coming to your evaluation.
What should I wear or bring to my evaluation?
Preferably, you should wear what you would wear if you were going to work. The tests’ we will ask you to perform do involve and require physical movement and agility. We recommend that you wear clothing that is comfortable to move around in while performing the same duties and tasks as if you were working. If you have a lower extremity injury we ask that you bring or wear a pair of shorts. If you have an upper extremity injury we ask that you wear a loose t-shirt or tank top (females are asked to wear a jog bra).
PLEASE DO NOT WEAR ANY OPEN TOED SHOES OR SANDALS – WE PREFER SNEAKERS OR LOAFERS WITH GOOD TRACTION AND SOLED BOTTOM SHOES.
Due to company privacy policies at no time will electronic devices be allowed for any reason! This includes cell phones, digital recorders, music devices, radios, walkmans, digital video reorders, etc.
How long will the test take?
You should plan on being at the clinic/facility for approximately four hours. Depending on the involvement of your injury and how well you tolerate the tests, the testing process may take longer or shorter time. If you have any problem with this time constraint please contact our office immediately so appropriate accommodations can be made. We request that no one other than the patient be allowed upstairs during the testing process. Due to the nature of the exam and the movement about the room, we are limited in space and do not want to hinder your movement ability and testing results by a constricted area. Please no children – please make appropriate plans for childcare.
• Please arrive 30-45 minutes prior to your starting time as there are some medical questionnaires that must be filled out, completed and turned in prior to starting the test. • If you have trouble understanding English, and will need assistance filling out these papers, please call 275-7405 as soon as possible so we can make the appropriate plans for your test. This would include the need for an interpreter for any language.
If I should have an emergency, how can I be contacted?
Should you need to be reached during the time you are here, our main office line (275-7405) can be contacted during the time of your evaluation. The nature of the message can be delivered to you and/or phone messages left with the front office staff. If you must leave during the testing process this could potentially interfere and negatively impact the processing of your care. Most physician offices plan follow up visits according to the FCE being completed. We ask that if at all possible interruptions and cancellations be kept to an extreme minimum.
What if something comes up on the day of the test and I have to cancel?
Again, your treating physician has ordered for this test to be completed. If you cancel the scheduled four hour test all members of your medical team will be notified of your cancellation and why. If the reasoning for the cancellation is not justifiable, your claim representative will be billed in full a $350 cancellation fee, which could negatively impact and/or cause you to be financially responsible for this cancellation fee. It will be left up to the discretion of the treating therapist who is scheduled to perform the FCE as to charge the cancellation fee. If the cancellation is for appropriate reasons/concerns then special considerations will be given to the patient and the FCE will be rescheduled for a later date and time.
How soon is the report done and sent to the doctor?
Our reporting process takes one (1) working day. Please allow enough time for mail, inter-office delivery, transcription and faxing to occur in order to get the correct documents to your physician.