By: Steven Babitsky, Esq.

A functional capacity evaluation is undertaken to determine what functional abilities an injured worker has and to help determine if he/she is ready to return to full duty or modified work.

Jill Galper PT, speaking at the SEAK National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference, explained what factors impact performance:

  • Behavioral attitudes
  • Injury severity & nature
  • Pain (the experience or fear of)
  • Environmental & social factors
  • Evaluee’s comprehension of instructions
  • Normal or natural individual performance variance
    • The FCE should measure ability change-be reliable

She explained the reasons for variable performance as:

  • Variations in pain
  • Position of activity
  • Self-limitation to avoid injury
  • Equipment function
  • Testing protocol
  • Subject comprehension/ability to follow directions

Gwen Simons, Esq., PT will be presenting Use, Abuse, and Future of FCEs: For Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine at the SEAK 33rd Annual National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference to be held on July16-18, 2013 on Cape Cod, MA.

Attorney Simons will review the best practices for ordering evaluations, utilizing, and defending an FCE. She will explain the optimum timing, documentation, and coordination with the IME. Atty. Simons will discuss how workers’ compensation and occupational health professional can effectively utilize FCEs to encourage return to work and the legal issues surrounding the use and abuse of FCEs.

Gwen Simons Esq., PT is a lawyer and a board certified orthopedic physical therapist with extensive experience with FCEs.  Atty. Simons has lectured and written extensively on FCEs, including ADA Issues in Return-to-Work Testing and Functional Capacity Evaluations. Atty. Simons is a consultant to industries on work in jury management, injury prevention, and pre- and post-offer employment screenings.

For additional information about the SEAK National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference click here.

Steven Babitsky is the conference leader.