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What Is A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)?


Functional Capacity Evaluation – Series Of Physical Tests

FCE or Functional Capacity Evaluation in Workers Comp is a series of tests administered to a claimant by a physical therapist or other health care professional.

Picture of apple and heart with stethoscope Functional Capacity Evaluation Frequency on Table
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FCEs can be beneficial in determining an injured worker’s restrictions and capabilities. FCE evaluators can review job descriptions and make a determination regarding whether the injured employee is capable of performing certain jobs. After a claimant undergoes an FCE, the evaluator typically provides a detailed report on the results, including the claimant’s capabilities and restrictions.

Some FCE’s can also show if the tested injured employee gave full effort on the tests.  The full effort test produced  a few negative reactions questioning whether or not the test actually can show a less than full effort.

Functional Capacity Evaluations keep the injured employee from reinjuring themselves when the employee returns to work. The FCE’s are usually given to evaluate the injured employee for work hardening.   The FCE’s can also be administered at the conclusion of the work hardening program.

Functional Capacity evaluations can be a successful tool for a safe return to work.   The treating physician usually reviews them at the return to work assessment appointment.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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