WCRI Study Examines Impact of Reforms on New York Workers’ Comp System

October 28, 2019

The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) has released a new report for policymakers and system stakeholders to track the performance of the New York workers’ compensation benefit delivery system.

“Originally established to monitor the system following reforms in 2007, the report has evolved into a tool for tracking key metrics of system performance on an ongoing basis,” said Ramona Tanabe, WCRI executive vice president and counsel, in a WCRI press release. “This regular monitoring helps focus attention on policy objectives that are being met, objectives that are not being met, and unintended consequences that have emerged.”

The study, Monitoring Trends in the New York Workers’ Compensation System, 2019 Edition, is the 12th annual report to regularly track key metrics of the performance of the New York workers’ compensation system. The following are among the study’s major findings:

  • Since 2014, indemnity benefits per claim and medical payments per claim were stable, following growth in both measures from 2007 to 2014.
  • Time to first indemnity payment improved, which likely reflects new processes of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, including eClaims and the Payor Compliance Project.
  • Over the earlier period from 2007 to 2014, indemnity benefits per claim increased 7–9 percent per year, which was largely related to the provisions of the 2007 reforms, while medical payments per claim grew more moderately at 3–4 percent per year.
  • Benefit delivery expenses per claim, which includes medical cost containment expenses, defense attorney payments and medical-legal expenses, increased 6–7 percent per year since 2007, but changed little in 2017.

The analysis in this most recent edition of the report includes trends in indemnity benefits, medical payments and benefit delivery expenses from 2007 to 2017 evaluated as of 2018 for claims at different maturities. Various interstate comparisons from other WCRI studies are provided to help put the performance of the New York system into perspective, such as prices paid for medical services and the frequency and amount of opioids dispensed to workers.

William Monnin-Browder and Carol A. Telles authored the study.

WCRI is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Cambridge, Mass. Organized in late 1983, the Institute objectively provides information obtained through studies and data collection efforts, which conform to recognized scientific methods.

WCRI’s 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.

Source: The Workers Compensation Research Institute

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