Burning Questions about FCE - Part 2

About the ErgoScience Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) - Part 2
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Greetings, and welcome back to the second part of our blog series dedicated to the ErgoScience Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) also known as the Physical Work Performance Evaluation (PWPE). In this installment, we'll continue to tackle pressing questions about FCEs, shedding light on crucial aspects like patient preparation, safety during testing, and payment considerations. Stay tuned for detailed insights that will enhance your understanding of this vital evaluation process. Let's get started!

  1. How should I prepare for each test?

To ensure a smooth FCE process, it's beneficial to contact the patient or administrative staff beforehand. Collect information on the patient's resting heart rate, blood pressure, and medications. It's important to be aware of any contraindications related to heart rate, blood pressure, and medications. Additionally, reviewing available medical records will help confirm the suitability of the patient for the test. Detailed training and certification courses cover all these aspects.

  1. How can full-time work activities be predicted from a 3–4-hour test?

The ErgoScience PWPE relies on research-based algorithms to make accurate predictions about a patient's capacity for full-time work activities. It stands out as the only FCE developed and validated through university-based research.


  1. How do I ensure the patient stays safe during testing?

Each task in the ErgoScience PWPE comes with specific indicators of effort, signaling when a patient has reached a safe maximum. You'll be trained to recognize these signs and halt the task before it becomes unsafe.


  1. Who pays for the testing?

In most cases, the cost of testing is covered by a workers' compensation insurance carrier. On rare occasions, the patient's attorney or the patient themselves may cover the expenses. Private health insurance very rarely covers FCEs, so it's crucial to establish the payment source before scheduling the test.


  1. What does workers’ compensation pay for a full FCE?

The payment for a full FCE varies by state. On average, the cost is around $850. It's advisable to contact your state's work comp board to determine the prevailing rate in your jurisdiction.


  1. Could I potentially encounter situations where FCE patients are suspected of trying to 'scam the system?

While situations involving patients attempting to deceive the FCE do arise, the ErgoScience FCE protocol equips you with the tools to accurately describe and document patient effort. The protocol also includes specific consistency of effort testing. FCE evaluators are seldom called to court regarding the results. However, if such a situation arises, the ErgoScience PWPE is backed by research demonstrating the accuracy of its scoring algorithms, and experienced ErgoScience clinicians are available to help you prepare.  Just reach out for help.


If you have any further questions or need information on training or ErgoPWPE Cloud software, feel free to reach out to info@ergoscience.com.

Stay tuned for more valuable insights on Functional Capacity Evaluations!

Deborah Lechner

Deborah Lechner

Deborah Lechner, ErgoScience President, combines an extensive research background with 25-plus years of clinical experience. Under her leadership, ErgoScience continues to use the science of work to improve workplace safety, productivity and profitability.
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