WCRI: Workers’ Compensation Costs Per Claim Moderating in Pennsylvania

November 14, 2013

The costs per workers’ compensation claim in Pennsylvania are moderating, following years of steady growth in previous years, according to a new study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

The report, Benchmarks for Pennsylvania, CompScope 14th Edition, said total costs per workers’ compensation claim grew 3.4 percent per year between 2009 and 2011, after 7.6 percent per year growth in the three previous years.

The report said the moderation in growth was seen across all cost components, such as medical payments, wage replacement benefits, and litigation expenses.

Among other major findings:

• The costs of wage replacement, called indemnity benefits, were higher than typical of the 16 states in the WCRI study, driven by longer duration of temporary disability benefits and larger lump-sum settlements.

• Litigation expenses were higher in Pennsylvania relative to other states, possibly the result of system features and processes.

• The costs of medical payments for the treatment of injured workers rose at rates similar to most study states, reflecting the generally stable trend in prices paid for professional services.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based WCRI is an independent, not-for-profit research organization dedicated to public policy issues involving workers’ compensation systems.

Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute

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