Oregon Tracks Workers’ Comp Payment Trends

June 5, 2009

Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services has published a report examining trends in medical costs during 2000-2007.

According to the report, for the period studied, total workers’ compensation costs increased at an average rate of 3.4 percent per year. Workers’ compensation medical payments in Oregon increased at an annual rate of 4.7 percent, roughly keeping pace with the medical care component of the Consumer Price Index. The report noted the medical portion of workers’ compensation costs has been increasing at a greater pace than the indemnity portion. As a result, the share of medical costs increased from 50.7 percent in 2000 to 54.1 percent in 2007.

Workers’ comp medical expenses in Oregon are covered by the state accident insurance fund (SAIF), private insurance companies, self-insured employers, or the noncomplying employer program. According to the report, the volume of payments made by SAIF and private insurers has varied, while payments by self-insured employers and the noncomplying employer program remained relatively stable. From 2000-2005, the share of SAIF payments increased while the share of private insurer payments decreased. Beginning in 2003, the share of medical payments made by SAIF exceeded private insrers’ payments, but the gap between the two has been narrowing in the past two years.

The publication examines changes in costs over time broken down by type of payer, type of provider, type of service, and type of claim.

To view the report, visit http://www.cbs.state.or.us/imd/rasums/3452/07web/07_3452.pdf.

Source: DCBS

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