WCRI: New Jersey’s Med Payments Per Workers’ Comp Claim Stable

November 17, 2015

Medical payments per workers’ compensation claim in New Jersey were stable from 2010 to 2013, in contrast to rapid growth in the 2008 to 2010 period, according to a recent study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

The report, “CompScope Medical Benchmarks for New Jersey, 16th Edition,” indicates results for New Jersey differed from those of other states WCRI studied, many of which experienced moderate to rapid growth in medical payments per claim.

The study found the following to be contributing factors in New Jersey:

  • Increased use of networks, which may be linked to a decrease in prices paid for nonhospital care. In recent years, two-thirds of total medical payments came from nonhospital services.
  • Flat or decreasing trends in utilization of many nonhospital services.
  • Slower growth in hospital outpatient payments per service.
  • A continued decrease in the percentage of claims that had hospital inpatient care.

“From 2010 to 2013, medical payments per claim with more than seven days of lost time rose less than 2 percent per year in New Jersey,” said Ramona Tanabe, executive vice president and counsel for WCRI. “From 2008 to 2010, payments rose nearly 10 percent per year.”

WCRI studied medical payments, prices, and utilization in 17 states, including New Jersey, looking at claim experience through 2014 on injuries that occurred in 2013 or earlier. WCRI’s “CompScope Medical Benchmark” studies compare metrics of medical costs and care from state to state and across time. The 17 states in the study — Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin — represent more than 60 percent of the nation’s workers’ compensation benefit payments, WCRI said.

The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Source: The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI)

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