- Christopher Le
What is Maximum Medical Improvement?
For those workers who have been injured at work, questions may arise about what is Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). The legal definition for this terminology is “a treatment plateau at which no fundamental, functional or physiological change can be expected within reasonable medical probability in spite of continuing medical or rehabilitative procedures.”
Simply put it means "as good as you're going to get." MMI does not mean that you are 100%, it does not mean that you are fully recovered from your injury, it is the point in time where a medical physician determines that your condition will no longer improve.
For example, while working in a warehouse, a worker lifts a heavy box and injures his lower back. At the initial examination, the doctor recommends a course of physical therapy for a 6 month period. After the 6 month period concludes, the workers lower back has improved dramatically, but the pain is still there. The doctor does not recommend any further medical care because no other medical care will substantially improve the workers condition. Despite the worker still being in pain, because no further treatment is recommended, maximum medical improvement has been reached.
Keep in mind that you can dispute an MMI certification that you disagree with. Many times a doctor may prematurely certify that a worker has reached MMI. That worker has a right to get a second opinion, but there are deadlines to dispute an MMI certification. You need to act fast. An attorney can assist you with disputing a premature MMI certification.