December 15, 2017

WCRI Webinar: Regulating Medical Costs & Care: Unintended Consequences

Cambridge, MA – Join Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) author and economist, Ms. Dongchun Wang, and senior public policy analyst and author, Dr. Rebecca Yang, for a one-hour webinar on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. CT, 12 noon MT, and 11 a.m. PT) to discuss how changes in reimbursement policies can have unintended consequences. The two researchers will share presentations they recently delivered at WCRI’s annual conference.

Ms. Wang will discuss major findings from WCRI’s study, Are Physician Dispensing Reforms Sustainable? After 18 states enacted reforms aimed at reducing the prices paid to doctors for prescriptions they write and dispense, some physician-dispensers in two large reform states, California and Illinois, found a new way to continue to charge and get paid much higher prices. The evidence of certain behavioral changes in response to the reforms raises a question about the effectiveness and sustainability of the reforms, which is important for all states with recent physician dispensing reforms.

Dr. Yang will discuss the presentation she gave at the WCRI’s conference, which pulls from various WCRI studies, and is entitled, The Perverse Effects of Low Fee Schedules. Since 2011, over 40 states have used some sort of medical fee schedule in workers’ compensation. Setting a fee schedule level involves a delicate balance. If rates are set too high, savings will be negligible and the fee schedule will not achieve its cost containment goal. Conversely, setting rates too low makes treating injured workers uneconomical for providers and jeopardizes workers’ access to quality care. Dr. Yang will share examples of how a low fee schedule may prompt providers to change billing or treatment patterns in several states.

Things you will learn:

  • The nature of recent reforms on physician dispensing, and the impact of these reforms on the frequency and costs of physician-dispensed drugs.
  • The new strengths of several common drugs and how these new strengths challenged the price-focused reforms.
  • Evidence of substantial increase in physician dispensing of new strengths, in post-reform California and Illinois, and much higher prices paid for the new strengths compared to existing strengths of the same drug.
  • Key factors to consider when determining whether a fee schedule is too low.
  • Evidence of providers changing behavior to retain revenue in several states with low or frozen fee schedule rates, or price reduction following fee schedule reforms.

Attendance is limited to 100 people and all attendees receive a free copy of the slides. Webinars are $39 for WCRI members; $79 for non-members; and no charge for members of the press, legislators as well as their staff, and state public officials who make policy decisions impacting their state’s workers’ compensation system.

Click here to register: WCRI Webinar: Regulating Medical Costs & Care: Unintended Consequences

Source: WCRI

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