New Workers’ Comp Tool Compares States

March 11, 2004

Policymakers and others interested in comparing workers compensation systems among states have a new tool from the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute, based in Cambridge, Mass.

CompScope is a new tool that annually track changes in state trends and system performance. It provides comparisons for more than 60 performance measures for 12 large states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

The benchmarks answer two questions central to workers’ compensation:

How does the performance of a state system compare with that of other states?
How is a state system changing over time?

The study uses data from WCRI’s Detailed Benchmarking/ Evaluation database, which contains more than 13 million claims, from 1994 through of mid 2002.

WCRI cites these as illustrative findings from CompScope::
• For a similar group of claims, the average total cost per claim in Texas ($5,320) was more than twice the average total cost per claim in Indiana ($2,071) and Wisconsin ($2,438).
• In 7 of the 12 study states, roughly half of the injured workers were sent their first indemnity payments within 21 days of injury. Massachusetts and Wisconsin had the highest percentage of workers receiving first payments in this period (54 percent).
• In California, the average duration of temporary disability grew almost five weeks in just five years, nearly 50 percent higher than the growth in the state with the next most rapid growth.

For more information, visit www.wcrinet.org.

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