WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COSTS GREW AT DOUBLE-DIGIT RATES,
FASTEST GROWTH AMONG 16 STATES IN RECENT YEARS
CAMBRIDGE, MA, December
20, 2011 –
Workers’ compensation costs per claim for Louisiana grew at
a double-digit rate in recent years, the fastest growth
among all states in a new study by
Mass.-based Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).
The 16-state study, CompScope™ Benchmarks
for Louisiana, 12th Edition, reported that
costs per claim rose 11 percent per year from 2007 to 2009
with increases involved in all key cost components —
medical, indemnity (payments for lost wages), and expenses
WCRI speculated that this rapid growth may
reflect some impact from the recession, although it noted
that the recession’s effects appear to have been less severe
in Louisiana than in other states in part due to the
post-Hurricane Katrina recovery.
The study said that indemnity benefits
per claim rose nearly 11 percent per year in Louisiana
during the period, a faster growth rate than in other study
states during these observable recession years.
The main driver in the growth of indemnity
benefits per claim was an increase in the average duration
of temporary disability of nearly two weeks.
Medical payments per claim also grew faster
in Louisiana during the period than in other study states —
26 percent compared to about 16 percent in the typical study
state. These costs were among the highest of the 16 study
states, 14 percent higher than typical.
The study noted that state officials and
system stakeholders view medical treatment guidelines
enacted in 2009 as a step toward possibly improving medical
care for workers and reducing costs to employers and
Another factor in the higher medical payments
per claim is that Louisiana has the highest prescription
payments per claim.
Among other key findings, benefit delivery
expenses per claim in the state were among the highest of
the states studied, especially defenses attorney payments.
Louisiana also had higher-than-typical average medical cost
containment expenses and medical-legal expenses.
The Cambridge-based WCRI is recognized as a leader in
high-quality, objective information about
public policy issues involving workers' compensation
The Workers Compensation Research Institute
(WCRI) is an independent, not-for-profit research
organization based in Cambridge, MA. Since 1983, WCRI has
been a catalyst for significant improvements in workers'
compensation systems around the world with its objective,
credible, and high-quality research. WCRI's members
employers; insurers; governmental entities;
companies; health care providers;
regulators; state labor organizations; and state
administrative agencies in the U.S., Canada, Australia and