Austin, TX – Access to medical care has improved for injured employees in Texas according to an September 2018 study from the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s Research and Evaluation Group. The annual study measures the effectiveness of the workers’ compensation system to deliver timely and appropriate medical care to injured employees. The study measures access to care by mainly looking at doctor participation and retention, and timeliness of care.
About 84 percent of injured employees received initial care in seven days or less in 2017. This is up from 81 percent in 2005, and has held at a rate above 83 percent since 2009.
“This is one of the many reasons that Texas is a model for other states when it comes to workers’ compensation,” says Texas Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Cassie Brown. “Making sure employees have access to the care they need so they can get back to work is a win-win situation. It’s important for an employees’ mental and physical well-being, and it also helps employers reduce their healthcare costs.”
The study also measured doctor retention. Nearly 80 percent of doctors who treat workers’ compensation patients return the following year. There was also a drop in the number of workers’ compensation claims by 20 percent from 2005 to 2017. This caused a 24 percent decrease in the number of patients per doctor in Texas, allowing for better healthcare options for injured employees.
“The study shows that Texas is helping injured employees more quickly and efficiently,” said Brown. “It also shows how committed doctors are to remaining in our workers’ comp system.”
The study includes other positive trends for injured employees’ access to medical care.
The full report is available here: TDI-DWC REG: Access to Care in the Texas Workers’ Compensation System (PDF)