Functional Capacity Evaluation Wrapup: Efficacy and Use
Editors note: This is the final post in a series about The Functional Capacity Evaluation.
The issue boils down to this: The treating doctor must be the sole decider as to whether an Functional Capacity Evaluation is necessary and reasonable under the circumstances. Employers and insurance carriers should not play a part in the decision to prescribe an FCE, just as they would not have a part in the decision to prescribe a diagnostic test, medication, surgery or other instrument of treatment. If the doctor substitutes the judgment of the carrier or respondent for his own in such a circumstance, he is putting the interests of those entities above his patient’s.
In the event the doctor feels that he/she cannot adequately assess the ability of the Petitioner to return work – and believes an FCE will assist him/her in assessing such capability – an FCE is appropriate.
The results of the FCE should be disseminated only to the physician until such time as the physician has had the opportunity to review the FCE results with the patient. He should take the patient’s comments in response to the FCE and whether or not the patient agrees with the FCE assessment.