Today’s issue of WorkCompRecap features the California WCIRB’s release of its California Workers’ Compensation Aggregate Medical Payment Trends report, which has been updated through CY 2021.
The new report compares medical payment information from 2019 through 2021. The annual report analyzes medical payment and utilization trends by provider type, service locations and different service types. Key findings included that overall medical payments per claim increased significantly, mostly driven by increases in the payments per transaction. The increase in payments per transaction was largely due to the 2021 fee schedule updates to medical-legal and evaluation and management services. Office or other outpatient service procedures continued to grow and were the fastest-growing physician service in 2021, and use of analgesics anti-inflammatory prescriptions increased more significantly than that of any other therapeutic group. Telehealth utilization continued to decline in 2021, but still remained at a much higher level than pre-pandemic periods.