Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE)
E3’s singular focus on Work Comp-related services is most evident in our approach to FCEs. Our uniquely accurate, fully-objective ‘validity of effort’ testing during an FCE begets evidence-based data that can be used to make appropriate therapeutic, medical and legal decisions.
- Naturally, every FCE program has, at some point, proclaimed itself to be the gold standard, yet there has never been a substantial improvement to the original models.
- Independent and peer-reviewed research has proven that they are all inherently flawed.
- The common problem among all protocols is that effort during an FCE was "measured" using methods that have been scientifically proven to lack accuracy, relevance and most importantly, objectivity.
Stated another way: the assessing therapist makes a guess whether a claimant’s effort was "valid." The guess, ideally, was an educated guess based on years – even decades – of experience. The problem, of course, was how easily the exact opposite guess could be formulated – also by an FCE expert with decades of experience. This adversarial approach ultimately renders two FCEs a waste of time and money or it forces non-medically trained judges, attorneys and arbitrators to decide which measure of effort is "more objective".
By definition, nothing can be "more objective" – it is either objective, or it isn’t.
E3’s Validity of Effort testing is objective and legally defensible. Others are not. It really is that simple.
At no point does opinion influence E3’s measure of effort during an FCE. While gleaning the same amount and depth of information begotten by any FCE protocol, E3 therapists use the XRTS "Cross Reference Testing System" to objectively measure effort.
The research that supports XRTS inherent objectivity has been published in numerous peer-reviewed industry journals. XRTS has played an integral role in many recent court decisions, often being compared ‘head to head’ with outdated FCE protocols… and, interestingly, to the distinct benefit of both the injured party and the insurer.
The Solution Applied:
The E3 philosophy regarding FCEs is simple: It must be accurate, it must be objective and it must be legally defensible.
E3 also likes to make them accessible. To that end, E3 FCEs are available as a mobile service statewide. Other highlights of our FCE service include the following:
- FCEs are scheduled and performed in less than 3 weeks – even sooner if necessary
- Customized reports can be delivered to multiple recipients if needed.
Reports are delivered in four business days (or less) after the completion of the test
- Single point of contact for scheduling, questions and follow-up ensures timely and informative support for all E3 clients
- The evaluating therapist will call the referral source immediately after testing to convey and discuss initial findings
- Multiple permanent testing facilities across Iowa and a mobile testing service for clients with transportation issues and/or residing in rural locations
- Every E3 FCE report is peer reviewed prior to distribution in order to ensure quality
- Full litigation support services (including FCE Analysis, preparation for depositions and expert testimony) are available for our attorney clients
Please contact us if you would like more information about our FCE protocol or would like to set up educational opportunities that can include continuing education credit for nurses, doctors and attorneys.
FCE Report Analysis
E3’s FCE experts can provide written assessments of an FCE Report, highlighting precisely where non-objective measures and flawed science were used during testing.
Functional Job Analysis & Job Descriptions (FJA/FJD)
Traditionally job descriptions are created by staff who have the best of intentions, but minimal understanding of a job as it relates to the human being performing it. E3 creates job descriptions that reflect the exact functional, physical requirements of every job. E3 uses licensed Physical or Occupational Therapists to create each FJD. Therapists use on site observation, questionnaires, interviews and video recordings in order to gather all applicable information. This information is analyzed, then confirmed by current employees and supervisors and ultimately synthesized into a working document. Without all these steps, job descriptions are generally not legally valid.
A thorough Functional Job Description (FJD) is invaluable for many reasons:
- Many times an accurate description will help weed out unqualified job candidates before they even apply
- Expedites training by defining physical expectations for each new employee
- Reminds current workers the level of performance they are required to maintain
- Ensures an easier transition from one job to another for promoted, demoted or transferred employees
- Makes return-to-work therapy for injured employees drastically more efficient
E3 uses FJDs as the basis for our Pre-Work Screens and job-specific FCEs. It also provides a blueprint for our unique Work Hardening & Conditioning program.
On-Site Injury Prevention
Small nagging injuries often become major, expensive ones. Most of those issues can, and should, be identified and rectified without ever filing a 'recordable' injury.
E3’s therapist becomes a de-facto member of your risk management team working closely with human resources and supervisory staff to identify and treat injuries before they become ‘recordable’ by providing manual therapy for pre-emergent injuries, creating stretching programs, ensuring sound ergonomics company-wide, monitoring employee’s body mechanics, etc.
By regularly surveying current employees E3 will identify and address pre-emergent injuries in individuals and general trends among groups of workers (by shift, location, supervisor, time of day, etc.) This has a dual effect: it "catches" injuries before they happen in individuals and it increases productivity by identifying performance inconsistencies among groups of workers.
The surveys are quick (a few minutes on-line) and easily afforded in nearly any HR budget; the resulting information is priceless:
- Identification of 'at risk' groups of employees
- Detection of pre-emergent worker issues (identifying where capacity/demand imbalances exist)
- Ability to provide simple and timely non-medical interventions based on each individual's unique needs
- Optimization of demand/capacity balance where compromised
- Ability to monitor recovery trajectories
- Ability to more effectively case manage high risk workers
- Facilitation of employee "ownership" in their own health and well being on the job and away from it
Single Point of Contact
Good communication can make all the difference between effective case resolution and costly delays in returning to work. Treating therapists are often difficult to reach, for that reason, E3 has a designated single point of contact for all our referral sources.
This individual is available to answer any or all questions related to the care of the injured employee. They act as a liaison between treating therapists and the case manager, doctor, adjuster, etc. and, perhaps most importantly, they problem-solve difficult cases by providing perspective a treating therapist often lacks due to proximity with the patient.