CompScope™ Medical Benchmarks a new study from WCRI (Workers’ Compensation Research Institute) will analyze the components underlying the growth in medical cost per claim showing indemnity costs per claim with more than seven days of lost time were stable in 2007 due to the offsetting effects of stable duration of temporary disability and moderate growth in the average weekly wage. Also, medical cost containment expenses per claim grew rapidly in 2007 after stabilization in 2006.
In Massachusetts, WCRI reported, medical costs per claim with more than seven days lost time at an average 36 months of experience in Massachusetts were the smallest of the 15 study states. A previous WCRI study showed a key component for the lowest medical costs per claim in Massachusetts was reduced prices paid for nonsurgical services, due to the lowest nonhospital provider fee schedule of 42 study states.
However, surgery prices were often negotiated higher than the fee schedule rates in place at the time of the study. Effective April 1, 2009, the workers’ comp fee schedule in Massachusetts increased for most common workers’ compensation surgical procedures to reflect the average rates currently paid.
Indemnity benefits per claim with more than seven days of lost time at an average of 36 months maturity in Massachusetts were typical of the 15 study states. According to WCRI, this was due to the offsetting effects of a slightly lower weekly temporary disability benefit rate (60% of workers’ gross pre-injury wage compared to the typical 66.66% in most other states) and higher temporary disability duration due to the wage-loss benefit structure.
Benefit delivery expenses per claim with more than seven days of lost time and expenses in Massachusetts were 24% lower than the 15-state median. Most expense components in Massachusetts were lower than typical, WCRI reported. Medical cost containment expenses per claim were 34% below the median state. Furthermore, both the average defense attorney payment per claim and medical-legal expenses per claim was 25% lower than the median state. (workersxzcompxzkit)
WCRI also reported injured workers received their first indemnity payments faster in Massachusetts than in other study states, driven by the fastest speed of payment once the payer received notice of an injury.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers' Compensation costs, including airlines, health care, manufacturing, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He can be contacted at: [email protected] or 860-553-6604.
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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers' comp issues.