WCRI Releases Medical Price Index Data for Three States

The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) recently released medical price index data geared toward thee specific states. Regardless of where you are based, we all can learn from them.
They are:
 
 
In the Virginia study, WCRI found the 2010 price for non-hospital services was nearly 30 percent higher than the median price in states with fee schedules. The original nine-year study, Medical Price Index for Workers’ Compensation, Third Edition (MPI-WC), showed prices grew much faster than the typical growth rate of 11 percent in states with fee schedules.

The study further showed in Wisconsin, their system had the highest prices and fastest growth in their WCRI’s Medical Price Index. “The price for non-hospital services in Wisconsin in 2010 was the highest of the 25 study states, more than twice the prices in the 25-state median, and nearly 50 percent higher than the median of the 6 states with no fee schedules,” the study says.

A WCRI press release indicated, “The prices in Wisconsin increased 42 percent, much faster compared to median growth rate of 11 percent of the states with fee schedules, also faster than the 28 percent typical growth rate of the states without fee schedules.”(WCxKit)


Lastly, the Indiana portion of the larger study indicated the 2010 price for non-hospital services in that state was the third highest of the 25 study states, more than 50 percent higher than typical prices paid in the study states with fee schedule regulation. The nearly 30 percent growth in Indiana was much faster than the typical growth rate of 11 percent in states with fee schedules, according to a WCRI press release.


ABOUT WCRI:
The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Cambridge, MA. Since 1983, WCRI has been a catalyst for significant improvements in workers’ compensation systems around the world with its objective, credible, and high-quality research. WCRI’s members include employers; insurers; governmental entities; managed care companies; health care providers; insurance regulators; state labor organizations; and state administrative agencies in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Manage Your Workers Compensation: Reduce Costs 20-50% www.WCManual.com. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

CLUES TO WORK COMP COST REDUCTION:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
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.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

Failure to Obey Costs Wisconsin Employer $46,200 in Fines

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Marshfield Door Systems Inc. with one repeat and two alleged serious violations after a worker's hand was trapped in an ingoing nip point on a conveyor belt line in March. The accident resulted in contusions, abrasions, and friction burns. Proposed penalties total $46,200.

"Installing proper machine guarding is a basic safety precaution that Marshfield Door Systems should have taken for the protection of its workers," said Kim Stille, OSHA area director in Madison. "We are committed to ensuring that employers adhere to OSHA's common-sense standards in order to prevent avoidable injuries, such as this one." (WCxKit)

The repeat violation was cited for failing to train workers in lockout/tagout procedures to control energy sources for equipment on conveyor belt line number one and carries a proposed penalty of $33,000,. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Marshfield Door Systems was also cited for failing to provide training on lockout/tagout procedures in 2009.

The serious violations are failing to inspect energy control procedures within the past year and to install guarding to protect workers from an exposed nip point on the conveyor. This carries a proposed penalty of $13,200, A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. (WCxKit)

Prior to OSHA's most recent inspection in March following the injury, the Marshfield-based company was inspected 13 times since 2001. Those inspections resulted in 27 citations, including some for violations of lockout/tagout and machine guarding standards.


Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.


Our WORKERS COMP BOOK:
www.WCManual.com

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
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.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Wisconsin Physicians Using More Generics Than Most States Lower Costs

The cost per claim of prescription drugs used to treat injured workers in Wisconsin was significantly lower than in most study states, according to a new report by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

The 16-state study by the Cambridge, MA-based WCRI reports  the average payment per claim for prescription drugs in the Wisconsin workers’ compensation system was $288 – 30% lower than the median of the study states.

 

The main reasons for the lower prescription costs in Wisconsin include lower prices paid to pharmacies for most common drugs, more frequent use of less expensive generic drugs, and fewer prescriptions per claim, especially for some commonly used narcotics.

 

The WCRI study, Prescription Benchmarks for Wisconsin, found the average price paid to pharmacies in Wisconsin was 15% lower than in the median state. The average prices paid to pharmacies in Wisconsin were lower for some common drugs, but fairly typical for other common drugs.

 

Wisconsin physicians more often prescribed generics to substitute for more expensive brand name drugs. Brand name medications accounted for 11% of all prescriptions, compared with 15%  in the median state, according to the study.

 

The study also reported  the utilization of prescription drugs in Wisconsin was lower compared to most study states.

 

The average number of prescriptions per claim in Wisconsin was 14% lower while the average number of pills per claim was 12% lower than the 16-state median. This was mainly because Wisconsin physicians wrote and workers filled fewer prescriptions per claim, especially for common drugs such as the painkillers Vicodin®, OxyContin® and Darvoset-N®.

 

Finally, the report noted some Wisconsin physicians wrote and dispensed medications directly to the patient. (workersxzcompxzkit)

 

Physician-dispensed prescriptions accounted for only 7% of all prescriptions in Wisconsin. Physician dispensing prescription drugs did not appear to be a cost driver of prescription drugs for Wisconsin, according to the study. 

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, healthcare, manufacturing, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He can be contacted at:  Robert_Elliott@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

Podcast: KNOW the new OSHA recordkeeping rules – or risk fines and criminal penalties.

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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' compensation issues.
 
© 2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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