MMI in Worker’s Compensation
The most fundamental aspect of any Workers’ Compensation or Disability Claim in Pennsylvania is when it is decided that the individual in question has reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). MMI is the opinion of a medical professional that no further medical care or treatment will lessen a patient’s impairment from an injury.
If a person has sustained multiple injuries, it can become complicated as different injuries may reach MMI at different times. In addition to this, insurance companies may differ from a patient’s doctor as to whether MMI has been reached, and, in the case of a Workers’ Compensation claim, a hearing may be required where a state-appointed Commission will decide.
Each state has its own guidelines for Workers’ Compensation and Disability Benefits. In Pennsylvania, an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) can be requested after receiving weeks of total disability benefits for 104 weeks. A designated medical expert would then adhere to the American Medical Association “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment” to determine an impairment rating for the patient in question.
In 2015 alone, a number of issues have been raised as to whether Maximum Medical MMI must be reached before an impairment rating evaluation can be assigned, as well as determinations that have been made by Workers’ Compensation Judges. The important thing to realize is that the WCJ is considered ultimate finder of fact, whose opinions will be deferred to in the instance of an appeal.
Never has there been a more crucial time in Pennsylvania to have the most accurate and objective data for a patient’s specific injury. Objective and reliable the data not only allows for a speedier process in claims management, but will hold more weight when an appeal is necessary over the physical examination of a physician. Because there may be different physicians involved in the process of insurance claims, court cases, and appeals, objective findings involve factual elements of a patient’s condition, not opinions.
While there are a number of manual systems that can assess a patient’s Range of Motion and Muscle Testing, no system is more advanced than Kennebec’s P.R.O.O.F. Preferred. With the goal of providing a functional assessment system that takes into account the needs of the patient as well as the necessity of having accurate and objective results, P.R.O.O.F. Preferred’s report driven system provides physicians, physical therapists and chiropractors with the tools that they need to develop a proper treatment plan as well as measure improvement.
A leader in Range of Motion and Muscle Testing technology, Kennebec continues to deliver state-of-the-art equipment that is designed for the changing needs of the medical industry in mind. P.R.O.O.F. Preferred reflects the need for credible, understood, established, objective and accepted reporting that both doctors and patients need in order to develop the best possible treatment plan, measure progress, and acquire the necessary benefits related to a specific injury.
For more information on how Kennebec’s revolutionary products can help medical professionals to accurately test patients and create treatment plans based on reliable data, contact them today, where their experts welcome any questions that you may have.