Study: Provider choice on workers' comp has little impact on cost
- On average, workers’ compensation indemnity and medical costs differed very little between states where employees may choose their providers and states where employers control provider choices, a Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) study found.
- The Effects of Provider Choice Policies on Workers’ Compensation Costs also found that the type of injury affected indemnity and medical costs. Back injuries generated higher costs in states where workers had more control over provider choice.
- Survey results also showed little difference in medical and indemnity costs across the 25 states the WCRI studied.
While workers' compensation typically falls under the purview of risk management in larger employers, HR leaders of all sized companies should pay close attention to both the "opt out" workers' compensation trend as well as what the federal government may do to thwart the rise of alternative programs, which claim to save money and provide workers with the right medical care.
The DOL previously expressed interest in potential federal oversight of workers' comp programs due to these supposed alternatives, but under the Trump administration (which just installed its labor secretary this month), its likely efforts in that regard will slow.
- Workers Compensation Research Institute Relationship between Provider Choice Policies and Workers’ Compensation Costs Explored in New WCRI Study
- WCRI Workers Compensation Research Institute