IME’s (Independent Medical Evaluations) and FCE’s (Functional Capacity Evaluations) are both very informative reports in personal injury cases if used properly. The aim of the IME is to determine whether or not your client needs further medical treatment, has any work restrictions, and whether their condition was caused by the accident. However, a physician should avoid placing arbitrary restrictions on abilities without objective assessment and measurement.
The FCE is the preferred method if there is a dispute over the extent of your client’s physical restrictions. Many times, physical impairments, disabilities, and work restrictions obtained through an FCE vary greatly from the insurance company’s doctor’s after undergoing an IME. The FCE is the only way to provide valid and objective measurement of your client’s physical restrictions.
I firmly believe in the medical necessity of an IME coupled with an FCE. The FCE is performed at the time of an Independent Medical Evaluation. The combination of these procedures provides the most realistic insight into impairment/disability, causation, apportionment, and retained safe work capabilities. Both of these exams play a critical role in your client’s recovery and compensation for their injury.