News & Events

Kansas better than Missouri at reducing worker’s comp opioid prescribing, study says

August 11, 2017

Kansas City Star | By Andy Marso | August 11, 2017

A study published this month by the Worker’s Compensation Research Institute found that Kansas has been better than Missouri at reducing dangerous prescribing of opioids for injured workers.

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Member Spotlight: Mike Fenlon, United Parcel Service (UPS)

August 9, 2017

Recently, we had the opportunity to talk to one of our long-time members, Mike Fenlon of United Parcel Service (UPS), about how he came to know the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), why UPS became a member of WCRI, and what value he derives from membership. Mike heads global corporate risk management for UPS, which is the world’s largest package delivery company serving more than 220 countries and territories.

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Longer-Term Dispensing of Opioids to Injured Workers Decreased in Several States, Says New WCRI Study

August 3, 2017

Cambridge, MA, August 3, 2017―As states institute numerous opioid policies and initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic, a new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) observed considerable decreases in the prevalence of longer-term dispensing of opioids to injured workers in a number of states studied. 

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New WCRI Study Helps Policymakers Monitor Changes in Prices Paid for Medical Care of Injured Workers in 31 States

July 27, 2017

Cambridge, MA, July 27, 2017―As policymakers and system stakeholders in many states debate rising medical costs, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) released a new study today that helps monitor changes in prices paid for medical professional services as well as the impact of fee schedule and network changes on price trends. 

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The opioid crisis is creating a fresh hell for America’s employers

July 26, 2017

LinkedIn | By Chip Cutter, Managing editor at LinkedIn | July 26, 2017

Clyde McClellan used to require a drug test before people could work at his Ohio pottery company, which produces 2,500 hand-cast coffee mugs a day for Starbucks and others.

Now, he skips the tests and finds it more efficient to flat-out ask applicants: “What are you on?”

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Updating Massachusetts Legislators on Our Latest Opioid Research

July 25, 2017

Yesterday, we were invited to brief the Boston Delegation (Massachusetts State Senators and Representatives that represent parts of Boston) up at the Massachusetts State House on WCRI's latest opioid research. Dr. John Ruser, WCRI’s president and CEO, presented findings from the following studies....

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Free Webinar on WCRI’s Latest Worker Outcomes Research

July 19, 2017

Cambridge, MA, July 19, 2017 — The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) will be hosting a free 45-minute webinar on its most recent research on outcomes for injured workers on Wednesday, August 9, 2017, at 2pm ET (1pm CT; 12pm MT; 11am PT).

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Recorded - Free Webinar on WCRI’s Latest Worker Outcomes Research

July 17, 2017

The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) hosted a free 45-minute webinar on its most recent research on outcomes for injured workers on Wednesday, August 9, 2017. Click here to watch the recording.

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Opioid prescription numbers for injured workers plummet

July 17, 2017

Addiction Now | By Dave Lambert | July 17, 2017

The number of painkilling opioids handed out to injured workers in the U.S. has seen a major drop — but remains dangerously high in some states.

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Measuring the Adequacy of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Michigan, 2004-2008

July 14, 2017

LexisNexis | By James J. Ranta, Esq. | 07-14-2017

The recent study by Mr. Bogdan Savych and Mr. H. Alan Hunt, Adequacy of Workers’ Compensation Income Benefits in Michigan, sought to determine how total income received by workers after an injury compared with the total income workers could have received had they not experienced an injury. 

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Workers comp outperforms nation in reducing opioid prescribing

July 12, 2017

Business Insurance | Louise Esola  | 7/12/2017 7:22:00 AM

An examination of opioid prescribing in workers compensation when compared to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show that entities in charge of treating injured workers are doing a better job at reducing the prescribing of powerful painkillers. 

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Column: In Illinois workers’ compensation battle, business can’t stay on sidelines

July 11, 2017

Chicago Tribune | By Robert Reed | July 11, 2017

An area of possible bipartisan reform in Illinois has gone down in flames — a victim of the budget battle — so the state is stuck with a workers' compensation plan that businesses, especially small companies, love to hate.

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A Mixed Bottle: Price-Focused Reforms Reduced Prices for Physician-Dispensed Drugs in Some Post-Reform States but Not All, Finds New WCRI Study

July 11, 2017

Cambridge, MA, July 11, 2017―With many states making changes to rules governing reimbursement for physician-dispensed pharmaceuticals, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) released a study today that sheds a light on the impact of price-focused reforms on the frequency and costs of physician-dispensed prescriptions. The study compares the experience in post-reform states with states where there were no reforms or where only pre-reform experience was observed. 

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CT hospital outpatient payments fell 14% in 2015 after policy change, report finds

July 5, 2017

Hartford Business Journal | By John Stearns | July 5, 2017

The average hospital outpatient payment per surgery decreased in Connecticut by about 14 percent from 2014 to 2015 after the state adopted a fee schedule for hospital and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), according to a new study from the Cambridge, Mass.-based Workers Compensation Research Institute.

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Spotlight: Concomitant Use of Opioids and Benzodiazepines, Other Central Nervous System Depressants

July 5, 2017

In our recent study, Interstate Variations on Use of Opioids, 4th Edition, WCRI looked at the concomitant use of opioids and other central nervous system depressants such as benzodiazepines (Valium® and Xanax®), muscle relaxants (Soma® and Flexeril®), and sedatives (Ambien®) among injured workers.

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Hospital Outpatient Payments per Episode Higher and Growing Faster in States with Percent-of-Charge-Based Fee Regulations or No Fee Schedules, Finds New WCRI Study

June 29, 2017

Cambridge, MA, June 29, 2017―Hospital outpatient payments were higher and growing faster in states with percent-of-charge-based fee regulations or no fee schedules, finds a new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). The study is an annual series that compares hospital payments for a group of common outpatient surgeries in workers’ compensation across 35 states, representing 88 percent of the workers’ compensation benefits paid in the United States. This study also monitors the trends within each state from 2005 to 2015. 

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Prescription Opioid Use among Injured Workers Decreased In Many States, But Not All, Finds New WCRI Study

June 26, 2017

Cambridge, MA, June 27, 2017― As states implement reforms to address issues related to overuse and misuse of opioids, a new study released today by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) observed decreases in the frequency and amount of opioids dispensed to injured workers in a majority of study states. However, higher utilization of opioids and other high-risk utilization patterns were seen in some states in the most recent study period.

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Two New Videos Promote WCRI’s Annual Conference and Membership

June 22, 2017

We have added two new videos to our website to promote membership and our annual conference. In both videos, current members explain why they joined WCRI and attend our annual conference. We are grateful for their participation. To watch either video, click on the links below and go to the bottom of the page.

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10-18% of Injured Workers Across 15 States Never Reached Substantial Return to Work, Finds New WCRI Research

June 20, 2017

Cambridge, MA, June 20, 2017―Six new state studies published today by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) compare outcomes of injured workers in Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin and nine other states. The outcomes examined include recovery of physical health and functioning, return to work, earnings recovery, access to medical care, and satisfaction with medical care. 

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New WCRI Study Measures Adequacy of Workers’ Compensation Income Benefits

June 8, 2017

Cambridge, MA, June 8, 2017 —The adequacy of income benefits to replace lost earnings of injured workers is measured in a new study released today by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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WCRI Webinar Informs Long-Standing Policy Discussion over Choice of Provider in Workers’ Compensation Cases

May 24, 2017

Cambridge, MA, May 24, 2017 — Should the choice of provider in workers' compensation cases be left to workers or employers? The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) will share its latest research informing this question during a 45-minute webinar on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. CT, 12 noon MT, and 11 a.m. PT). The webinar will be hosted by Dr. Bogdan Savych, a public policy analyst at WCRI.

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Recorded - Webinar on Provider Choice Research

May 23, 2017

Should the choice of provider in workers' compensation cases be left to workers or employers? We discuss our study The Effects of Provider Choice Policies on Workers’ Compensation Costs, in this recorded webinar, which was held on June 14, 2017. The webinar was hosted by Dr. Bogdan Savych, an author of the study and a public policy analyst at WCRI.

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North Carolina Costs per Workers’ Compensation Claim Have Remained Steady since 2009, WCRI Study Indicates

May 23, 2017

Cambridge, MA, May 23, 2017—Total costs per workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina have remained steady since 2009, according to a Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) study, a contrast from the increases of the pre-2009 era.

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New WCRI Study Finds Large Variation in Worker Attorney Involvement

May 18, 2017

Cambridge, MA, May 18, 2017—A new FlashReport from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found wide variation in the percentage of claims with worker attorneys across 18 state workers’ compensation systems.

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New WCRI Study Tracks Impact of SB 863 on California Workers’ Compensation System

May 16, 2017

Cambridge, MA, May 16, 2017—California’s total costs per workers’ compensation claim with more than seven days of lost time have remained stable after the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 863, while most other 17 states experienced an increase during this period, according to a study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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Thousands of Georgians hurt at work report ‘big problems’ getting care

May 10, 2017

A recent study by the nonprofit Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found 18 percent, or nearly one in five, Georgians injured at work who experienced more than seven days lost time reported "big problems' getting services they or their primary provider wanted." 

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Total Costs per Workers’ Compensation Claim in Florida Grew Moderately, Finds WCRI Study

May 9, 2017

Cambridge, MA, May 9, 2017—The average total cost per workers’ compensation claim in Florida grew moderately from 2010 to 2015, according to a study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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Rousmaniere: Does it Matter Who Picks the Doctor?

May 3, 2017

Does it matter who picks the doctor? The Workers Compensation Research Institute concluded in a report released last week that for the most part an insurer or employer will incur roughly the same claims costs for work injuries regardless if they occur in “employer choice” or “employee choice” states. It also opened the door to fruitful discussion of what does make a difference in claims outcomes.

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Illinois Still Seeing Impact of 2011 Workers’ Compensation Reform Law, Says WCRI Study

May 2, 2017

CAMBRIDGE, MA, May 2, 2017—The average total cost per workers’ compensation claim in Illinois decreased 6.4 percent since 2010, but remained higher than most of the 17 other states studied in a recent report, CompScope™ Benchmarks for Illinois, 17th Edition, by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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Relationship between Provider Choice Policies and Workers’ Compensation Costs Explored in New WCRI Study

April 27, 2017

There is a long-standing policy discussion over whether the choice of health care provider in workers’ compensation cases should be left to workers or to employers. A new study, The Effects of Provider Choice Policies on Workers’ Compensation Costs, provides updated evidence regarding the relationships between medical and indemnity costs (i.e., replacement for lost wages). 

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Income Benefits Increased for Indiana Injured Workers under 2013 Law;  Indemnity Benefits per Claim Still Lower among 18 States

April 25, 2017

Cambridge, MA, April 25, 2017—Income benefits paid to Indiana’s injured workers through workers’ compensation claims rose nearly 5 percent between 2014 and 2015, a Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) study found.

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New CompScope™ Studies Examine Trends in Claim Costs and Impact of Reforms in 18 State Workers’ Compensation Systems

April 18, 2017

The claim costs and other metrics of 18 state workers’ compensation systems are analyzed in depth in a new series of studies, CompScope™ Benchmarks, 17th Edition, released by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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First Quarter Impact 2017 (1/1/17 - 3/31/17)

April 12, 2017

In states large and small, our work continues to be actively used by a diverse group of public officials and stakeholders, resulting in better, more informed decision making. Below is a sample of where our work was used over the last three months.

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WCRI and The Walt Disney Company Discuss Injured Worker Outcomes at RIMS 2017 Annual Conference

April 12, 2017

Dr. John Ruser, president and CEO of the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), and Tim East, Director of Risk Management at The Walt Disney Company, will deliver a joint presentation on injured worker outcomes at the RIMS 2017 Annual Conference & Exhibition, Wednesday, April 26, at 11am in room 116.

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Workers comp programs fight addiction among injured workers

April 10, 2017

Meet a victim of the nation's opioid addiction scourge: the American worker. A number of U.S. states are taking steps through their workers compensation systems to stem the overprescribing of the powerful painkillers to workers injured on the job, while helping those who became hooked to avoid potentially deadly consequences.

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First impressions matter in comp claims

April 3, 2017

Workers compensation experts say that trust in the workplace and early positive communication between injured workers and their employers or claims handlers can play a crucial role in reducing the time it takes a claimant to return to work, as well as keeping comp claim costs in check.

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WCRI Launches Redesign of Website with New Logo

March 17, 2017

Cambridge, MA, March 15, 2017―In an effort to help policymakers and other stakeholders find the latest research on some of the most significant issues impacting state workers’ compensation systems, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) launched a redesign today of its website along with a new logo. The site can be viewed at http://www.wcrinet.org.

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2017 WCRI Annual Report + Research Review

March 16, 2017

We would like to share with you a copy of our 2017 WCRI Annual Report + Research Review. Among the report's many features is a list of the impact our research had last year in helping policymakers and other stakeholders make more informed decisions.

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SAVE THE DATE - WCRI’s 2018 Annual Issues & Research Conference

March 9, 2017

The WCRI conference is a leading workers' compensation forum. The two-day program highlights presentations of WCRI’s latest research findings while drawing upon the diverse perspectives of highly respected workers’ compensation experts and policymakers from across the country. 

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Another Record-Breaking Year for Conference Attendance

March 7, 2017

Thank you to the over 400 people who helped make WCRI’s 33rd Annual Research & Issues Conference such a tremendous success.  

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Why Workers’ Compensation Is Especially Needed Now: Report from WCRI Conference

March 6, 2017

After decades of managing costs for employers, it’s time for workers’ compensation professionals and public policymakers to turn their attention to the needs of injured workers and think of themselves more as players in a broader safety net, workers’ compensation experts were told last week.

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WCRI Study Monitors Trends in New York Workers’ Compensation System

February 27, 2017

Cambridge, MA, February 28, 2017―Trends in the performance of the New York workers’ compensation system following reforms enacted in 2007 are monitored in a new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). 

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WCRI Study Evaluates Impact of House Bill 373 on Medical Expenses in Delaware Workers’ Compensation System

February 27, 2017

Cambridge, MA — Feb. 21, 2017 — A new study released today by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) evaluates the early impact of Delaware House Bill (HB) 373, which had a goal to reduce medical expenses in the state’s workers’ compensation system by 33 percent over three years.

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Full WCRI Conference Agenda Now Online

January 17, 2017

We are less than two months away from our 33rd Annual Issues & Research Conference (March 2-3, 2017) in Boston, Massachusetts. This will be one of our most exciting conferences yet, tackling issues critical to state workers compensation systems today and for years to come. 

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New pilot aims to curb opioid addiction among injured workers

January 17, 2017

BOSTON -- The Baker administration on Thursday launched a new initiative to combat the state's opioid abuse epidemic, this one with a focus on reducing the risk of addiction for workers who are injured on the job.

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Start Off 2017 Right

January 4, 2017

Happy New Year! The start of a new year is the perfect time to make a resolution. 
Start off 2017 right: resolve to gain new insights and a better understanding of key issues in today's complex environment by attending WCRI's 33rd Annual Issues & Research Conference (March 2-3, 2017) in Boston, MA.

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California Medical Payments per Workers’ Compensation Claim Decreased After the Implementation of SB 863

December 8, 2016

CAMBRIDGE, MA, December 8, 2016 — California Senate Bill (SB) 863, signed into law in 2012, may have contributed to decreases in medical payments per workers’ compensation claim in 2013 and 2014, according to CompScope™ Medical Benchmarks for California, 17th Edition, a study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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WCRI Announces Theme for 2017 Annual Issues & Research Conference

December 8, 2016

CAMBRIDGE, MA, December 8, 2016 — After enjoying record-breaking attendance at its last conference, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) officially opened registration today for its 33rd Annual Issues & Research Conference, March 2-3, 2017, at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston, MA.

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Study: CT paying more for injured-workers medical services than many states

November 30, 2016

Prices paid for medical professional services delivered to injured workers in Connecticut were 19 percent higher in 2014 and 21 percent higher in 2015 than the median for 31 states studied in the latest Medical Price Index for Workers' Compensation, released today by the Cambridge, Mass.-based Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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Workers’ comp payments for medical service in Kentucky are below 18-state median, study says

November 10, 2016

Medical payments per claim in Kentucky were lower than the median of 18 states, according to a recent study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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Insurance Commissioner warns of increased deaths, costs due to prescription opioid, heroin epidemic

September 30, 2016

For the first time in a decade some mortality rates in the United States are rising and that’s due, in part, to more people dying from drug overdoses, .

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