When a workers compensation claim is accepted as compensable by the Employer/Carrier, the insurance carrier selects the physician or physicians that an injured employee will treat with. There are many forms of treatment that a physician may recommend throughout the course of treatment. Some of these treatments include medication, physical therapy, injections, and surgery. At a certain point in the treatment, the authorized doctor may place the employee at Maximum Medical Improvement (“MMI”). What this basically means is that the employee has reached a plateau with regards to the medical treatment being offered. In other words, the physician does not believe there are any other forms of treatment which could improve the injuries being treated.
Once MMI is reached, the physician will give the injured employee a permanent impairment rating. Depending on the rating given, the employee may receive what is called Impairment Income Benefits. Even though MMI has been reached, the injured worker can generally still continue to treat with the authorized physician, but will be required to pay a $10.00 co-pay. However, a physician that has placed an employee at MMI many times does not recommend any other forms of treatment. An option that can be used is to request a one-time change in physician. Throughout the life of a claim, an injured employee is entitled to request a new doctor only one time. That is why it is extremely important to use the one-time change at the correct time as it can negatively affect the case if the request is used at an inappropriate time. Using it at the wrong time could result in hurting the settlement value of the case or getting a doctor that is more conservative than the doctor placing the employee at MMI. There are certain ways that an attorney can select a specific doctor once the one-time change is requested. At the Law Offices of Ala Alikhani, P.A., we are familiar with the different doctors in the workers compensation system and will use our expertise to secure the best available physician to treat our clients.
Reaching MMI is a critical point in a workers compensation claim. That is why it is important to hire a workers compensation attorney who handles these types of situations. If you were injured on the job or know of someone who was, have them give us a call at (844) 762-8155.