An injured worker is found to have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) when his/her condition has stabilized, and despite continued medical treatment their condition is not likely to improve. Basically, an employee collecting TT because of a work injury or occupational disease may reach a point medically when they will not improve any more – they have gotten as well as they will get.
Ohio law defines MMI as a “treatment plateau (static or well-stabilized) at which no fundamental functional or physiological change can be expected within reasonable medical probability in spite of continuing medical or rehabilitative procedures.” Under Ohio law when an injured worker reaches MMI, they are no longer entitled to receive temporary total disability compensation.
If an injured workers’ treating doctor determines that he or she has reached MMI the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will terminate temporary total on the date indicated by the attending physician. However, in most claims the BWC will schedule an independent medical exam to determine if an injured worker has reached MMI. The Bureau sends the IME report to the treating doctor to ask if they agree with the IME doctors’ finding that the claimant has reached MMI.
If the treating doctor disagrees with the independent doctor’s conclusion that the employee has reached MMI, the Ohio Industrial Commission (IC) will hold a hearing on this issue to make the final MMI determination. The claimant and their attorney, as well as the employer, may participate and present evidence at this hearing.
If an injured worker is found to have reached MMI he or she is still entitled to receive medical treatment for the allowed conditions in the claim. They may also be entitled to receive other benefits such as:
- Rehabilitation services
- Wage Loss
- Permanent Partial Disability
- Permanent Total Disability
- Lump Sum Settlement