Report: California’s Central Coast Accounting for More of State’s Comp Claims

February 15, 2017

California’s Central Coast has been accounting for more of the state’s workers’ compensation claims recently, a new report issued today shows.

The California Workers’ Compensation Institute has issued a new Regional Score Card, the sixth in its research series that looks at workers’ comp claims experience in eight regions of California.

The CWCI Score Card provides detailed data from more than 127,000 claims for 2005 to 2015 injuries filed by residents of the Central Coast, which encompasses Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Santa Cruz counties, and compares the results to those from 1.7 million claims from the rest of the state.

For the 11-year span covered by the report, claims by Central Coast workers represented 6.7 percent of all California workers’ comp claims and 6.3 percent of all claim payments. However, with a shift in the state’s population and job market in recent years, the proportion of claims from the region has increased. Central Coast workers accounted for 7.7 percent of all California job injury claims in accident year 2015, the report shows.

Average payments on these claims – almost a quarter of which involved agricultural workers  – have shown recent increases as well. For example, average 36-month paid losses on Central Coast claims rose from $26,194 for the years between 2005 to 2007 to $35,874 for 2011 and 2012 claims.

Other findings in the report show:

  • Time lags from the date of injury to employer notification, claims administrator notification and initial treatment are significantly less on the Central Coast than in other regions, and claim durations are shorter;
  • At 24 months post injury, Central Coast claims average more medical visits for evaluation/management, physical therapy, and chiropractic care, while the biggest difference in medical payments is in surgery, where Central Coast claims at the two-year benchmark average 11.2 percent more than in the rest of the state;
  • Four of the top 10 drugs prescribed to Central Coast injured workers are opioids based on 2014 payments. Vicodin, Oxycodone, Tramadol, and Fentanyl together account for 20 percent of the region’s total drug spend.

Recent CWCI Score Cards examined claims from Los Angeles County; the Inland Empire/Orange County; the Central Valley; the Bay Area; and San Diego County.  All of the Score Cards and summary bulletins are available to CWCI members and research subscribers online.

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