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WCRI Releases Benchmarking Reports for 16 State Workers Comp Systems

Originally posted October 10, 2013 on http://www.propertycasualty360.com

The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) has released a series of new studies measuring the performance of 16 different state Workers’ Compensation systems.

The states in the study—Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin—represent nearly 60 percent of the nation’s workers’ compensation benefit payments.

The studies benchmark and compare each state’s income benefits, overall medical payments, costs, use of benefits, duration of disability, litigiousness, benefit delivery expenses, timeliness of payment and other system performances as they have changed per claim from 2007 to 2012.

Among the major findings are the following:

  • Medical payments per claim in Illinois declined, likely due to a reduction in the fee schedule rates.
  • Costs per claim in Louisiana were higher than most states and growing rapidly, mainly due to longer and increasing duration of temporary disability and higher and growing hospital payments.
  • Overall costs per claim declined in Texas following reforms aimed at containing medical costs.
  • Growth in total costs per claim moderated in Pennsylvania after rising in prior years.

The reports present various measures in several areas, including time from injury to payor notice of injury and first indemnity payment; average total cost per claim, average payment per claim for medical benefits, and average payments per claim for indemnity benefits and components (temporary disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and lump-sum settlements); vocational rehabilitation use and costs; benefit delivery expenses per claim; defense attorney involvement; and duration of temporary disability.

The reports can be purchased here.