What Is Maximum Medical Improvement?
Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) is when a physician determines that no additional medical treatment can be done to improve the patient’s condition, and thus, the patient has reached the highest improvement possible with their medical condition. When a patient has a work-related injury and is receiving worker’s compensation, he or she is also getting medical treatment. And after a while, the doctor will decide that he/she did all that can be done for the patient. The doctor will then determine that the patient has reached maximum medical improvement.
What Are The Concerning Issues With Maximum Medical Improvement?
Some people who are receiving worker’s compensation and medical treatment seemingly have no problem. They are receiving their lost wages because they can not work due to their work-related injuries. They are also recovering quite well through medical treatment.
However, this is not the story for many others with work-related injuries. Many of these individuals will either be unable to return to work due to permanent impairment disability resulting from the work injury, or they will have a certain level of disability where they can work but with restrictions. Now, being able to work with restrictions due to permanent partial disability, such as sitting down at a desk instead of standing, is workable in some cases if these individuals can maintain the same or more pay and benefits. However, there are many who will either be able to work a job with lower pay and benefits, or they do not have any skills for a job that they can handle with work restrictions. In this case, they will have to train and possibly lose more wages due to training for jobs that are more accommodating. Also, with each of these scenarios, there may still be a settlement available for them along with these restricted work options, but this still may not be enough for these people and their loved ones. And when it comes to those who can not work at all, they may obtain a full lump sum payment that still may not enough to help them and their loved ones in the long run.
What To Do When The Medical Condition Is Determined as MMI?
When it comes to the dilemmas concerning MMI, there are steps the person can take to fight to ensure they and their loved ones will be alright. For one, their worker’s compensation insurance agency may ask for another doctor’s opinion. From there, the physician will either agree or disagree with the other physician’s opinion. If he/she agrees, then you may want to hire a trustworthy attorney to fight your case. Otherwise, your worker’s compensation insurance agency may continue with your benefits for lost wages, medical bills, etc. If you have to hire a lawyer, he/she will work out various important details which include the following:
- Finding another doctor for you
- Work out mitigations concerning your medical bills, prescriptions, physical therapy, etc.
- Will consider other details, such as medical conditions possibly worsening as you age
- Taking into consideration each body area negatively affected by the work-related illness/injury t assist with valuing those areas.
- Work out details concerning your living arrangements and bills by working with various social workers and more