Today’s issue of WorkCompRecap features the release of a new edition of WCRI’s CompScope Medical Benchmarks series. In this latest release, North Carolina is examined, with a focus on hospital charges for the treatment of injured workers. According to WCRI, hospital payments per claim in North Carolina have been among the highest among their 16 state study set since at least 2004, and costs had been growing quickly following regulatory changes designed to help reduce outpatient costs.
Key findings in the study included that the payment-to-charge ratio for hospital outpatient services overall was reduced as expected, from 82% to 72%. However, WCRI noted that the average charge per service grew 17% compared with a similar period for the prior year, and that charges increased at a rate much faster than cost-savings estimates anticipated, making the fee schedule reduction potentially less likely to achieve cost savings goals.
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