Cambridge, MA – The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) recently released a comprehensive reference report, CompScope Benchmarks, 14th Edition, which measures the performance of 16 different state workers’ compensation systems, how they compare with each other, and how they have changed over time.
“The report is designed to help policymakers and others benchmark state system performance or a company’s workers’ compensation program,” said Ramona Tanabe, WCRI’s deputy director and counsel. “The benchmarks also provide an excellent baseline for tracking the effectiveness of policy changes and identifying important trends.”
The study examines how income benefits, overall medical payments, costs, use of benefits, duration of disability, litigiousness, benefit delivery expenses, timeliness of payment, and other metrics and system performance have changed per claim from 2007 to 2012.
The 16 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. Separate state reports are available for 14 of the 16 study states.
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 Report is available for purchase from WCRI here: WCRI CompScope Benchmarks, 14th Edition