Functional Capacity Evaluations: Most Common Questions

FAQs Answered for Functional Capacity Evaluations

Functional capacity evaluations (FCEs) are often requested by insurance companies, disability claims adjusters, and third-party administrators to determine an individual’s ability to work. They are also used to help establish return-to-work goals and identify any necessary accommodations. In this blog post, we will answer some of the most common questions about FCEs.

Who Needs to Get an FCE?

The goal of a functional capacity evaluation, or FCE, is to measure the physical abilities of an individual. It works to define the impairment and evaluate the level of ability of an individual in a standardized way.

Typically, an FCE is performed after a work injury to see if an employee is ready to go back to work and/or what the employee’s restrictions are.

Other cases where an FCE may be ordered, are after car accidents or when applying for disability.

What insurances do we accept?

At WorkSafe Physical Therapy we focus on worker’s compensation injuries. Therefore, the only insurances that we are “in-network” with are the worker’s compensation insurances.

If you have personal insurance that you are wanting to file for payment of the FCE, then we are not the correct fit for you. We aren’t in-network with any personal or federal insurance company.

If you would still like to have your FCE performed at WorkSafe Physical Therapy we can definitely still help you. However, you will be required to pay for it out of pocket and then submit it for reimbursement through your insurance on your own.

How Much Does the FCE cost?

Functional capacity evaluations can be pretty costly. Many insurances will pay for some or all of the FCE if it is necessary. However, if you are planning on paying out of pocket you will be spending at least $575 at WorkSafe Physical Therapy for a functional capacity evaluation.

How Long does the FCE last?

The FCE isn’t a short in-and-out test. You should expect to spend at least 3 hours at our office for the test alone. The test can last anywhere from 3-4 hours plus arriving early to finish any necessary paperwork.

How long to get results

Typically, our reports are available and provided to the referral source within 48 hours at WorkSafe Physical Therapy in Wichita, Kansas.

Who Gets the Results

Who the results go to will depend on who requested the evaluation. It could be an attorney, employer, or worker’s compensation adjuster. The results will be sent in a written report.

If you are requesting the test for yourself and paying for the test out of pocket, then you will have the results sent to you in whatever format you have requested them, either by mail or e-mail.

Is There Pre-test Paperwork?

Yes! After scheduling your appointment with WorkSafe Physical Therapy we will ask if you prefer to have the necessary paperwork mailed or e-mailed to you. We will typically send this paperwork out to you within 48 hours of scheduling your appointment.

It is critical that you fully complete the paperwork and bring it with you to your appointment.

What Should I Expect After I Finish?

During this test, we are going to test you to your maximum ability. The goal of the test is to see how much you are able to do safely. It is a long test and can be quite fatiguing. In the following 24-48 hours you can expect to have some muscle soreness, similar to what you would have after a new exercise program.

What if I have more questions?

If you have any additional questions about functional capacity evaluations or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today. Our team at WorkSafe Physical Therapy is here to help you every step of the way.

Contact WorkSafe Physical Therapy to find out how we can help your company


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