Thank you for joining me again for these evening podcasts. I do hope you find them enjoyable. I am Dr. Harrison Campbell primary chiropractor as Restoration Health a premier sugar land chiropractors office. In tonights podcast we will be discussing the importance of a functional capacity exam otherwise known as an FCE.
A functional capacity exam is performed primarily in workers compensation cases. For sugar land chiropractors who perform workers compensation, and there are very few who do, they will tell you this exam is performed as the name implies, to test the functional capacity of the person being examined. What we mean by functional capacity is the measurement of the physical ability of the patient to perform certain activities which represent the overall capabilities of the patient. The list of exercises picked for this functional capacity examination are used to represent a majority of the actions people perform on a daily basis. Similar to a government representative being the voice for their constituents as a whole.
It is important to note that during a workers compensation claim only three functional capacity examinations can be performed for the entire duration. This means that the timing of when they are performed is equally important as the documentation and the patient performance. As one of only a few sugar land chiropractors who will treat workers compensation patients I can tell you the functional capacity exams are primarily performed towards the later half of the case. This is done for a variety of reasons. First as stated we can only perform three during a given case, second we can utilize the findings in the exam to validate the requested therapy or procedure on the pre authorization, third we can utilize them as added information to be sed during an impairment rating or designated doctors examination.
Let us break down the pre authorization topic first. Pre authorization is required in workers compensation cases as a checks and balance to verify an injured workers requires the therapies or procedures being requested. I will not get into the pros and cons of this system in this podcast, but typically I find the system hinders employees who are actually injured from returning to work in a healthy state in a timely fashion. For sugar land chiropractors who perform workers compensation they can tell you the insurance company has three days to respond in a timely fashion to the requested therapy or procedure. If they do not respond in three days a non timely response is sent in and the insurance company then has five days to respond to this request.
This is where the functional capacity exam can come into play. Should the insurance company be denying the pre authorization request for therapy this functional capacity exam can be performed and documented. This report is can them be utilized to show the medical necessity of the requested therapy and help get the doctor an approval for the pre authorization. Typically for my office the requested therapy is usually a surgical procedure that is being hindered and thus required the functional capacity exam. I believe most sugar land chiropractors would agree with me on this sentiment if they accept workers compensation patients.
Let us switch to the functional capacity exam being performed for an impairment rating or designated doctors examination. We will start with the designated doctors exam. This designated doctor is an independent third party doctor that evaluated the patients and renders an opinion on the the status of the patients injuries. Both the insurance company and the treating doctor can request a designated doctors exam. What sugar land chiropractors will do is perform the functional capacity exam should they disagree with the insurance companyís designated doctors reports on the patients. They will then use the functional capacity exams report and have a second designated doctor exam performed to go against the first designated doctors report. If the treating doctor agrees with the first designated doctors report then at this stage no functional capacity exam is needed.
An impairment rating is typically one of the final steps taken in a workers compensation case. A functional capacity exam is performed and this report plus the doctors notes along with imaging and consult or surgical reports are sent to a doctor to perform the impairment rating. This impairment rating is used to determine the level of impairment the patient will continue to have due to their injury. Each percentage point of impairment equals three weeks of the temporary income benefits the patient receives as income.
A final reason that sugar land chiropractors can use a functional capacity exam is for the patient. Now this is not done independently but performed in conjunction with one of the above mentioned reasons for performing a function capacity exam. Now performing a functional capacity exam for the patient is done to help the patient overcome the fear avoidance they have from their injury. What this means is that the patient will limit what they are doing out of fear of reinjury and thus under estimate what they can do physically. By performing the functional capacity exam we can show them they are more physically capable they they believed and can thus increase their daily activities at home without fear of reinjury, as long as the daily activities are performed correctly. This is common with low backs and shoulders. People will limit the range of motion of the arms in fear of hurting their shoulder again and will limit what they are carrying or movement in general.
Thank you for joining me once again. It is my hope that you are able to take information you learn in these podcasts and apply it to your every day life. As always should you or someone you know require the services of sugar land chiropractors call Restoration Health today in order to set up an appointment. That way we can set up a treatment pan to return you to optimal health. Thank you once again for joining and hope to see you in the next one. Have a good night.