Today’s issue of WorkCompRecap features the release of a new Insights report from NCCI that examines inflation, noting that price inflation accelerated in 2021 driven by a combination of demand recovery and supply chain bottlenecks pushing prices up for goods and services.
NCCI notes however, that recent price increases for medical services are largely unrelated to the pandemic. Key findings included that in 2021 as prices for energy and goods increased substantially and were major drivers of consumer price inflation, the pandemic had a lesser effect on two price categories particularly important to workers comp: wages and medical costs. Wages increased rapidly in 2021 after growing slowly at the start of the pandemic, netting out to a similar rate of wage growth to pre-pandemic. While medical costs are up in 2021, NCCI found that it’s actually been due to changes in Medicare rules, rather than pandemic-related inflationary pressures.