Boca Raton, FL – NCCI recently released the last of four installments in a new series on inflation and workers’ compensation medical costs.
In today’s ever-changing environment, there is no shortage of questions on inflation and how medical costs may be impacted. In fact, workers compensation stakeholders indicate this is one of the top-of-mind issues they’re facing.
NCCI tackled this important subject in its new Inflation and Workers Compensation Medical Costs series in four parts addressing the key components of medical cost drivers: general overall medical costs, facility services, physicians, and prescription drugs.
This last installment of NCCI’s series focuses on changes seen in drug costs and, in particular, how changes in opioid prescribing have impacted those cost trends. The study explains how these shifts in prescribing patterns contributed to changes in workers compensation medical costs.
Key findings included:
- From 2012 to 2021, the average drugs-paid cost per claim decreased about 2.6% per year.
- The annual reduction in drug payment per claim varied across four regions, ranging from 2.0% in the Southeastern region to 3.9% in the Western region.
- The price of prescription drugs grew at an annual rate of 3.7%, only to be offset by a 6.0% decline in the type and number of prescriptions.
- Opioid claims1 saw the largest decrease in drug costs, largely due to a reduction in both opioid and nonopioid prescriptions.
- Countrywide (CW), of claims with at least one prescription, the share of these that also had at least one opioid decreased from 55% in 2012 to 26% in 2022.
The report was authored by Raji Chadarevian – Executive Director – Actuarial Research, David Colon – Assistant Actuary, and Amelia Carroll – Actuarial Consultant.
Read the free report: NCCI Inflation and Workers Compensation Medical Costs Part 4 – Prescription Drugs