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New WCRI Study Monitors Trends in New York Workers Compensation System

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The new WCRI study, Monitoring Trends in the New York Workers Compensation System, is the seventh annual report to regularly track key metrics of the performance of the states workers compensation system following the implementation of the 2007 reforms.

Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) September 04, 2014

Trends in the performance of the New York workers compensation system following reforms enacted in 2007 are monitored in a new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). The regular monitoring of system performance helps policymakers and system stakeholders focus attention on the objectives that are being met, objectives that are not being met, and any unintended consequences that have emerged.

This series of reports continues to be a significant tool for examining the performance of the New York workers compensation system following the implementation of major reforms over time, said Ramona Tanabe, deputy director and counsel for WCRI. These studies already are helping public policymakers, employers, insurers and other stakeholders determine the effectiveness of the changes and if they have generated unintended consequences.

The new WCRI study, Monitoring Trends in the New York Workers Compensation System, is the seventh annual report to regularly track key metrics of the performance of the states workers compensation system following the implementation of the 2007 reforms.

The key reform measures increased maximum statutory benefits, limited the number of weeks of permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits, created medical treatment guidelines, adopted a fee schedule for pharmaceuticals, established networks for diagnostic services and thresholds for preauthorization, and enacted administrative changes to increase speed of case resolution.

The report noted that the changes have various effective dates and have been instituted over time. As a result, it will be several more years before the full impact of the reforms will be realized.

The following are among the studys key findings:

  •     In 2011 claims evaluated in 2012 (reflecting 16 months of experience under the treatment guidelines), the number of visits per indemnity claim decreased notably for chiropractors and physical/occupational therapists when compared with the prior year. There was a smaller decrease for physicians.
  •     From 2007 to 2010, for PPD/lump-sum cases at an average 24 months of experience, there was a nearly 15 percentage point decrease in cases that received PPD payments only (with no lump-sum payment) and a nearly 12 percentage point increase in cases with a lump-sum settlement only (with no PPD payments).
  •     From 2007 to 2011 (for claims at an average 12 months of experience), there was a 4 percent increase in the number of visits for major radiology services by nonhospital providers. The percentage of indemnity claims with major radiology services also grew over that same period, from 45 percent to 52 percent.
  •     There was little change in the average defense attorney payment per claim from 2009 to 2010, but an increase of nearly 9 percent in 2011.

The study uses open and closed indemnity and medical-only claims with dates of injury from October 2005 through September 2011, with experience as of March 2012. The data are representative of the New York system.

Click on the following link to purchase a copy of this study: http://www.wcrinet.org/result/ny_reforms_2014_result.html.

ABOUT WCRI:

The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Cambridge, MA. Organized in late 1983, the Institute does not take positions on the issues it researches; rather, it provides information obtained through studies and data collection efforts, which conform to recognized scientific methods. Objectivity is further ensured through rigorous, unbiased peer review procedures. WCRI's diverse membership includes employers; insurers; governmental entities; managed care companies; health care providers; insurance regulators; state labor organizations; and state administrative agencies in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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