News & Events

2024 WCRI Conference Is Sold Out

February 20, 2024

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Registration for the 40th Annual WCRI Issues & Research Conference, March 5-6, 2024, is now sold out. Demand for tickets to the event was higher than ever before. To be added to the waiting list, please contact Kathy Fisher. To keep informed about next year’s conference, please subscribe to our email list on the front page of our website.

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Boston University Prof. Connie Noonan Hadley to Discuss the Power of Relationships to Improve Workforce Outcomes at 2024 WCRI Conference

February 05, 2024

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Cambridge, MA, February 2, 2023―The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) announced today that Dr. Connie Noonan Hadley, an organizational psychologist and professor in the Management and Organizations Department at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, will keynote the second day of the 2024 WCRI Issues & Research Conference, March 5-6 at the Westin Copley Hotel in Boston, MA. The title of her keynote is “The…

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Who Should Attend the 2024 WCRI Conference?

January 23, 2024

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A question we often get about our annual conference is who should attend? The answer is, anyone working to improve workers’ compensation systems or seeking to manage a changing environment will benefit. Better yet, take a look at the more than 100 organizations registered for our 40th Annual WCRI Issues & Research Conference, March 5-6, 2024, in Boston, MA.

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WCRI Conference Includes Session on Psychological Risk Factors and Functional Recovery

January 18, 2024

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Cambridge, MA, Jan. 18, 2024―Today, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) announced that a session on “Psychological Risk Factors and Functional Recovery” will be held at its 2024 WCRI Issues & Research Conference, March 5-6 in Boston, MA. WCRI Policy Analyst Vennela Thumula will present the Institute’s latest research on the topic.

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Indiana Bill Would Allow Employees to Select Physician in Workers’ Comp Cases

January 12, 2024

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A study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute published in 2017 found little evidence of average cost difference in between states where employers had control over the choice of provider and states where workers were given the most control of the choice of provider. The study, The Effects of Provider Choice Policies on Workers’ Compensation Costs, surveyed effects of provider choice policies on workers’ compensation costs in 25…

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Excessive Heat and Work-Related Injuries to Be a Focus at WCRI Conference

January 11, 2024

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Cambridge, MA, Jan. 11, 2024―Today, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) announced that a session on “Excessive Heat and Work-Related Injuries” will be held at its 2024 WCRI Issues & Research Conference, March 5-6 in Boston, MA. WCRI Vice President of Research Sebastian Negrusa and Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Research Director David Bonauto will be presenting.

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Start Off 2024 Right by Attending WCRI’s Annual Conference

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Happy New Year! The start of a new year is the perfect time to make a resolution. Start off 2024 right: Resolve to gain new insights and a better understanding of key trends in today's workers' compensation environment by attending WCRI's 40th Annual Issues & Research Conference, March 5-6, in Boston, MA.

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Provider consolidation = Higher workers’ comp costs, longer disability

December 18, 2023

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Olesya Fomenko and Bogdan Savich collaborated on a very well done study of vertical integration of providers’ impact on work comp, and their research bodes ill indeed.

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WCRI: Consolidation of Health Care Leads to Higher Costs, Longer Disability Duration

December 18, 2023

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Consolidation of health care services into large corporations that own hospitals, clinics and physician practices may hold the promise of more efficient and better-integrated care, but it hasn’t led to better outcomes for workers’ compensation patients, according to a new study by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute.

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WCRI: Vertical Integration Results in More Medical Care, Higher Claim Costs, and Longer Recovery after Injuries

December 14, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, December 14, 2023—As vertical integration of medical providers has increased over the last decade, a new Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) study found that vertical integration results in more medical care, higher claim costs, and longer recovery among workers injured on the job.

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Gift Yourself the Experience of Attending WCRI’s 2024 Conference

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This holiday season, gift yourself the experience of attending the 40th Annual WCRI Issues & Research Conference, March 5-6, 2024, in Boston, MA. Our two-day conference differs from other workers' compensation forums with our original research on timely issues impacting state workers' compensation systems...

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Florida Weekly Wage and Max Workers’ Comp Benefit See Biggest Jump Since 1980

December 08, 2023

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Florida comp insurers and employers are somewhat shielded from the full impact of higher wages on the cost of benefits. State law limits temporary total disability benefits to a maximum of 260 weeks, a significantly shorter time frame than most other Southeastern states provide, the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute reports.

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WCRI: Medical Payments for Treatment of Injured Workers in Wisconsin Highest of 17 Study States

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Cambridge, MA, December 7, 2023 – A recently released study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found that medical payments per claim in Wisconsin remained stable between 2019 and 2021 after prior years saw moderate growth. Wisconsin, however, sees some of the highest prices and payments per claim out of any of the study states.

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Comorbidities affect workers’ recovery from back pain: report

December 06, 2023

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“Identifying these comorbidities and understanding their impact on recovery may help workers’ compensation stakeholders better understand which low back pain cases are more likely to have poorer outcomes and potentially adapt treatments for workers with high-risk comorbidities,” said Ramona Tanabe, president and CEO of WCRI.

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During Pandemic, Surgeries Delayed, but Care on Track for Injured Workers: WCRI

December 05, 2023

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A new Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) FlashReport examined the time from injury to first medical service among workers’ compensation patients across states and over time for different types of services in 2020 and 2021, the first two years of the pandemic, relative to the pre-pandemic years.

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WCRI Report Examines Challenges of Low Back Pain and Comorbid Health Issues

December 01, 2023

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Workers’ compensation patients who report comorbidities, especially mental health comorbidities (anxiety, depression, sleep dysfunction), had a stronger association with smaller functional recoveries than those who only reported physical health comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity. That’s according to a recent Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) report examining the impacts of common physical and mental…

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Study finds no pattern of ER delays for injured workers during pandemic

November 28, 2023

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While there were some delays for injured workers who needed surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Workers’ Compensation Research Institute study released Tuesday found no pattern of delays in access to emergency care and initial medical evaluations immediately following injuries.

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Time from Injury to First Medical Service among Workers’ Compensation Patients Examined before and after the Pandemic in New WCRI Study

November 28, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, November 28, 2023—A new Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) study, Time to First Medical Service—A WCRI FlashReport, examines the time from injury to first medical service among injured workers across states before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Time to first service provides insights for the understanding of access to medical care for workers with injuries.

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Long COVID And Workers’ Comp, A Deep Dive Into A Real Issue

November 21, 2023

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Did we ever learn a lot during the once-in-a-generation health event that was COVID! Guest Dr. Bogdan Savych of the Workers Comp Research Institute (WCRI) is a policy analyst who is studying the lasting effects of the illness, as well as lingering cases of Long Covid.

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Getting smarter about PT.

November 22, 2023

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Why does a therapist’s treatment duration vary for patients with the same diagnosis? What conditions have the most impact on patient recovery? Thanks to WCRI’s Vennela Thumula PharmD; Randall Lea MD; and Te-Chun Liu there are answers.

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WCRI: Mental Health Comorbidities Related to Poorer Functional Outcomes Than Physical Health Comorbidities in Workers with Low Back Pain

November 21, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, November 21, 2023—A new Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) study found that mental health comorbidities (anxiety, depression, sleep dysfunction) had a stronger association with smaller functional recoveries than physical health comorbidities (diabetes, hypertension, obesity). This study is based on a large sample of 68,850 workers who were injured on the job and received physical therapy for low back pain.

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Thankful for Your Support

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As Thanksgiving approaches, we want to express our deep appreciation for the unwavering support you've provided the Institute. Your commitment has been crucial in enabling WCRI to deliver independent, high-quality, and credible research, playing a pivotal role in fostering informed decision-making within state workers' compensation systems.

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WCRI: Medical Payments to Treat Injured Workers in Texas Stable from 2016 to 2021, Masking Offsetting Trends

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Cambridge, MA, November 16, 2023 – A new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found that medical payments for the treatment of workers injured on the job in Texas changed little between 2016 and 2021.

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CompScope is up…medical costs are not.

November 07, 2023

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It’s that time of year…when the brilliant minds at WCRI release the latest CompScope report. The top finding…is likely to surprise many…

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Georgia Law Officers Call for Full Salary Benefits Under Workers’ Comp

November 07, 2023

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The workers’ compensation system in Georgia was established in 1920, around the time that most other states’ comp systems were born. As in most states, injured workers receive two-thirds of their weekly salary while recovering. In Georgia, the maximum weekly benefit for temporary total disability is $675, less than Florida, Alabama and South Carolina, and it end at 400 weeks unless it’s for a catastrophic injury, the Workers’…

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WCRI: Medical Payments for the Treatment of Injured Workers in Minnesota Continued to Decline in 2020 and 2021, Likely Due to the Pandemic

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Cambridge, MA, Nov. 3, 2023 – During the first two years of the pandemic, medical payments per claim in Minnesota decreased 4 percent in 2020/2021, followed by a slight drop of 2 percent in 2021/2022, according to a new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). This was mainly driven by decreases in utilization of medical services, likely related to the pandemic.

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Louisiana Contractor Gets Max Fine After Fatal Fall at Georgia Hyundai Plant Site

November 03, 2023

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Georgia law provides workers’ compensation death benefits to dependents that are greater than some surrounding states, less than others. The maximum allowed for a surviving spouse with no dependents is $270,000, more than Florida’s maximum of $150,000, according to the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute.

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Join Us for a Bewitching Time at Our Annual Conference

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While our 2024 conference (March 5-6) in Boston may not coincide with Halloween, it promises to be a thrilling and enlightening experience.

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WCRI Holds Webinar on CompScope™ Medical Benchmarks, 24th Edition

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Cambridge, MA, Oct. 27, 2023 – The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) will hold a one-hour webinar on its recently release CompScope™ Medical Benchmarks, 24th Edition on Thurs., Nov. 16, 2023, at 2:00 pm ET. WCRI Senior Analyst and Author Carol Telles will share findings from the studies and take audience questions.

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2023 Annual Staff Volunteer Outing

October 20, 2023

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Today, WCRI had its annual staff volunteer outing. This year, WCRI staff picked apples at Boston Hill Farm and then donated them to Foodlink, which delivers fresh food to 80-100 community-based organizations (e.g., food pantries, homeless shelters, senior centers) serving people throughout Greater Boston. #GivingBack

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​WCRI: Medical Payments for the Treatment of Injured Workers in Indiana Stable between 2016 and 2021, but Masked Offsetting Changes

October 19, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, October 19, 2023 – A new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found that medical payments per workers’ compensation claim in Indiana changed little between 2016 and 2021.

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Kathy Fisher presenting at 15th Annual Workers Compensation and Safety Conference hosted by the Illinois Chamber and Illinois Self-Insurers’ Association

October 18, 2023

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Today, our colleague Kathy Fisher is presenting WCRI research at the 15th Annual Workers Compensation and Safety Conference hosted by the Illinois Chamber and Illinois Self-Insurers' Association. Kathy's presentation will address the impact of the pandemic on the workers’ comp system using WCRI research on long COVID, and workers’ comp trends in Illinois.

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Medical Costs for Injured Workers in Delaware Fell During Pandemic: WCRI Study

October 13, 2023

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A new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found that total costs per claim with more than seven days of lost time in Delaware decreased in 2020 and then increased in 2021, based on claims evaluated as of March 2022. The study found that changes in the availability of medical services and economic conditions were the main factors behind the 2020 and 2021 findings. Reforms enacted in 2014 also had an effect on medical…

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WCRI: Cost of Medical Treatment for Workers Injured on the Job in Delaware Decreased During the Pandemic, Benefit Payments Increased

October 12, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, October 12, 2023 — A new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found that total costs per claim with more than seven days of lost time in Delaware decreased in 2020 and then increased in 2021 (claims evaluated as of March 2022). Changes in the availability of medical services and economic conditions were the main factors behind the 2020 and 2021 findings.

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Carol Telles Presenting at LABI’s 2023 Workers’ Comp Seminar

October 11, 2023

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WCRI Senior Analyst Carol Telles will be presenting research on how the Louisiana workers' compensation system compares to other states at LABI's 2023 Workers' Comp Seminar, Oct. 12-13 in Baton Rouge, LA. Learn more at https://buff.ly/3ZP7bOY. #workerscomp

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Dr. Tate Rice: The Importance of the Physical Therapist in Addressing the Physical and Behavioral Health of Injured Worker Patients

October 10, 2023

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In a Workers’ Compensation Research Institute study, patients who initiated PT more than 30 days after injury had worse health outcomes than those who began therapy within three days. Those who initiated PT later were 47% more likely to have an MRI, 46% more likely to be prescribed opioids, 29% more likely to receive injections for pain management, and 89% more likely to have back surgery. Those are a lot of negative consequences!

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2024 WCRI Conference: Keynote Announced and Registration Open

October 09, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, Oct. 10, 2023―The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) announced today that registration is open and acclaimed Harvard economist David Cutler will keynote the 2024 WCRI Issues & Research Conference, March 5-6 at the Westin Copley Hotel in Boston, MA.

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WCRI: Medical Payments Continued to Decline in 2021, Reflecting Lingering Effects of Pandemic

October 05, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, October 5, 2023 ― Medical payments per claim decreased more than 3 percent in most of the 17 study states for 2021 injuries with experience through March 2022, according to a new set of studies by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). The main driver of this was a decrease in utilization of medical services, likely the result of the pandemic.

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WCRI: 6% of COVID Claimants Treated for Long COVID

October 04, 2023

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A national study by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute found that 6% of workers who filed claims for COVID-19 suffered long COVID, meaning they sought additional treatment more than a month after the initial infection.

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What Employers Should Know About Workers Who Have Long COVID-19

September 29, 2023

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An August report from the nonprofit Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found that care for long COVID can be costly. Many workers who developed long COVID continued receiving medical care a year after their infections. At an average of 18 months of post-infection experience, workers with long COVID received more than 20 weeks of temporary disability benefits and received on average about $29,000 in medical care. This was more than…

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All Changed, Changed Utterly

September 21, 2023

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That line, from W.B. Yeats’ great poem, “Easter, 1916”, comes to mind when we look back on what COVID has done to the US workforce in a scant few years. The good folks at the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) have cast a critical-statistical eye over the recent COVID-addled period, 2019 to 2022, in their new research report: Changes in the Workforce and Their Impact on Workers’ Compensation Outcomes (free to WCRI…

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What’s Up, Long COVID?

September 21, 2023

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For the other news, we turn to a new report from the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), Long COVID in the Workers’ Compensation System in 2020 and 2021. The report is detailed because long COVID is not simple.

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WCRI Holds Webinar on Long COVID in the Workers’  Compensation System in 2020 and 2021

September 14, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, Sept. 15, 2023 – The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) will hold a 30-min. webinar on its study Long COVID in the Workers' Compensation System in 2020 and 2021 on Tues., Oct. 3, 2023, at 2:00 pm ET. Author Dr. Bogdan Savych will share findings from the study and take audience questions.

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Joe Paduda: Medical inflation in work comp…

September 11, 2023

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Isn’t a problem. In most states. Today. That is the headline takeaway from WCRI’s presentation last week…

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Alternatives to the High Cost of Topicals for Pain Management

September 01, 2023

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Hamm’s assertion that high-cost topicals are unnecessarily driving up costs is backed by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), which completed a study in December 2021 that found the cost of some topicals for pain management is increasing the cost of workers’ compensation claims dramatically in some states.

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Impact of long COVID on the workplace in Massachusetts

August 31, 2023

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A recent report looked at the prevalence of long COVID and how it is affecting the worker compensation system. The report, by the Cambridge-based Workers Compensation Research Institute, looked at compensation claims between March 2020 and September 2021 and found that 6% of workers who were infected by COVID-19 received treatment for long COVID.

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WCRI Study Examines Impact of Workforce Changes on Workers’ Compensation Outcomes

August 31, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, August 31, 2023 – A new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found the recent economic trends and the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had important impacts on the workers’ compensation system.

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Talking Points: State seeks federal money for four big transportation projects

August 21, 2023

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Six percent of workers who filed workers’ compensation claims for catching COVID-19 between March 2020 and September 2021 have also received care for Long COVID, according to a new report. Of these workers, many of them continued receiving medical care for ongoing symptoms a year after their infections, researchers at the Cambridge-based Workers Compensation Research Institute say, citing work that involved data from 31 states.

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Workers’ comp researchers examine long COVID

August 21, 2023

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Six percent of workers who filed workers’ compensation claims for catching COVID-19 between March 2020 and September 2021 have also received care for Long COVID, according to a new report.

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Long COVID is real, “social inflation” is not.

August 18, 2023

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WCRI’s report on long COVID’s impact on work comp was release, examining claims with an average of 18 months post-infection…my takeaways include...

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Long COVID present in 6% of comp claims: study

August 17, 2023

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Six percent of workers with compensation claims for COVID-19 developed long COVID, according to a study released Thursday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

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WCRI: Long COVID Affected 6 Percent of Workers with COVID-19 Claims in 2020 and 2021

August 17, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, August 17, 2023 – A new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found that 6 percent of workers with COVID-19 developed long COVID, and many of these workers continued receiving medical care a year after their infections. This study expands prior evidence from early in the pandemic, showing persistent rates of long COVID for infections through 2021.

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WCRI Webinar on Medical Inflation in Workers’ Compensation

August 14, 2023

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Join the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) for a 30-min. webinar on Wed., Sept. 6, 2023, at 2:00 pm ET as authors Olesya Fomenko and Rebecca Yang discuss findings and answer questions from Insights into Medical Inflation in Workers’ Compensation—A WCRI FlashReport.

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CCC: Shifting Treatment Patterns Bringing More Expensive Auto Injury Treatments Earlier On

August 14, 2023

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The Workers Compensation Research Institute reported earlier this month that the cost of medical care in workers’ comp dipped during the pandemic. Inflation for both work comp treatment and health care in general hasn’t tracked the rate of inflation for the economy as a whole, WCRI said.

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WI DWD: Worker’s Compensation Premiums Continue to Decline

August 09, 2023

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The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development recently announced that Wisconsin companies will pay 8.4% less in worker’s compensation insurance rates starting Oct. 1, 2023, benefiting businesses around the state.

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Physician dispensing in work comp is roaring back

August 07, 2023

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mostly because insurers and employers have a been asleep at the switch.

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WCRI: Inflation Not a Big Deal for Workers’ Comp, Yet

August 04, 2023

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While fast-rising prices in the past year drove up claim costs for auto and property insurers, inflation has been a more ho-hum affair for the workers’ compensation line and health care in general, according to a new report by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute.

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Lower worker’s comp rates will save state employers $148M

August 04, 2023

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Wisconsin companies will pay 8.4% less in worker’s compensation insurance rates starting Oct. 1, benefiting businesses around the state, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

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No evidence overall inflation effected comp medical costs: Report

August 03, 2023

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While consumer prices for energy, food and housing between 2021 and 2022 saw drastic increases, there’s little evidence such inflationary pressures affected workers compensation medical costs, according to a report released Thursday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

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WCRI: No Evidence of a Steep Medical Price Growth in Workers’ Compensation during the Recent Inflationary Period

August 03, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, August 3, 2023 – The steep growth in consumer prices for energy, food, and housing over the last few years created concerns about potential rising inflation in medical care. A new Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) study found that, overall, there was no evidence of faster growth in workers’ compensation medical prices and payments in most states over the high inflation period of 2021-2022.

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The Grand Bargain: Delving into the Evolution of Workers’ Compensation

August 02, 2023

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Earlier this year, the Workers' Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) served as the backdrop for a comprehensive and illuminating presentation on the evolution of workers' compensation. Presented by Price V. Fishback, a Ph.D. holder from the University of Arizona, the discourse explored the multifaceted journey of workers' compensation from its nascent stages to its present state. Fishback's exposition particularly zeroed in…

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Upcoming lower worker’s compensation rates to save Wisconsin employers $148M

August 01, 2023

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Wisconsin companies will pay 8.4% less in worker’s compensation insurance rates starting Oct. 1, benefiting businesses around the state, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

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Save The Date - 2024 WCRI Issues & Research Conference, March 5-6 in Boston, MA

July 26, 2023

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Please save the date for the WCRI 40th Annual Issues & Research Conference, March 5-6, 2024, at the Westin Copley Hotel in Boston. Our 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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Alabama Firefighter Dies, Another Wounded After Attack at Fire House

July 25, 2023

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An Alabama firefighter who was shot inside his fire station will be laid to rest today, providing a small measure of closure after what authorities have called a targeted attack that left another fireman critically wounded.

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Extended Use of Physical Medicine for Low Back Pain: A Comprehensive Study by Workers’ Compensation Research Institute

July 25, 2023

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In March 2023, Dongchun Wang from the Workers' Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) presented a study on the extended use of physical medicine for low back pain claims in 28 states across the United States. The study provides valuable insights into the prevalence and severity indicators associated with this type of treatment.

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If a worker dies on the job, many states limit surviving spouse workers’ compensation

July 20, 2023

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Tennessee’s workers’ compensation laws are now similar to a number of other states, said Karen Rothkin with the Workers Compensation Research Institute. “23 states plus D.C. and the two federal programs already give remarried spouses about two years of further benefits,” said Rothkin. “Most of them in a lump sum.”

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View from the top: Ramona Tanabe, Workers Compensation Research Institute

July 12, 2023

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In May, Ramona Tanabe became president and CEO of the Workers Compensation Research Institute, where she began working in 1996. During her tenure, she has helped the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based institute evaluate the workers comp industry by conducting studies on state policies and trends. Business Insurance Assistant Editor Louise Esola interviewed her recently on her work and what’s to come. Edited excerpts follow.

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WCRI: COVID-19 Pandemic Likely Contributed to Indemnity Benefit Trends in MA

June 09, 2023

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Cambridge, MA – Indemnity benefits per claim in Massachusetts decreased 7 percent in 2021 following a sizeable increase in the previous year. Duration of temporary disability was a major driver of indemnity trends in both years, according to a recent study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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WCRI Releases 2023 Annual Report

June 09, 2023

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Cambridge, MA – The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) recently announced that its 2023 WCRI Annual Report is now available on its website.

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that giant sucking sound…v3

June 01, 2023

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WCRI’s latest research report on hospital costs is a must-read for anyone involved in work comp claims, medical management and actuarial issues. Kudos to Drs Olesya Fomenko and Rebecca Yang for their excellent work.

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Medicare pricing changes could cost comp

June 01, 2023

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently updated its reimbursement rates for medical services, and experts are monitoring how the changes may affect workers compensation medical fee schedules and insurance rates.

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WCRI to Discuss Findings From Back Pain Study in June 22 Webinar

May 31, 2023

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The Workers Compensation Research Institute will discuss findings from a recent study about back pain during an hour-long webinar June 22.

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WCRI: Hospital Outpatient Payments Lower and Growing Slower in States with Fixed-Amount Fee Schedules

May 31, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, May 31, 2023 – During these times when rising hospital costs are a focus of public policy debates, a new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) finds that hospital outpatient payments are lower and growing slower in states with fixed-amount fee schedules.

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Physician consolidations can both hurt and help comp: Experts

May 25, 2023

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As health care system mergers become more commonplace, workers compensation experts are monitoring how physician consolidations might affect issues such as medical costs, patient access and quality of care.

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WCRI: Pandemic May Have Played Role in Decrease of Medical Payments per Workers’ Compensation Claim in Virginia

May 23, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, May 30, 2023 – Medical payments per workers' compensation claim in Virginia at 12 months of maturity decreased 5.6 percent between 2019 and 2020 and 7.9 percent between 2020 and 2021, according to a recent study published by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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WCRI’s new leader speaks

May 19, 2023

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One of my favorite people in workers’ comp is now heading up WCRI…I connected with Ramona Tanabe who was named President and CEO. making her the third leader of this august institution.

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Medical services pricing in comp varies among states: Study

May 19, 2023

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States that don’t have workers compensation medical fee schedules for professional services tend to have much higher prices compared with states that have fee schedules, according to updated findings by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

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Seven Percent of Workers with COVID-19 Claims Developed Long COVID

May 18, 2023

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A recent study, "Long COVID in the Workers' Compensation System Early in the Pandemic" from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) examined the prevalence of long COVID among injured workers early in the pandemic by studying the COVID-19 workers' compensation claims that occurred between March 2020 and September 2020.

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WCRI: Pandemic Potentially Influencing TD Trends

May 18, 2023

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Recent changes in the duration of temporary disability in Texas could reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic conditions, according to a recent study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

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WCRI: Substantial Variation Found in Prices Paid for Professional Medical Services to Treat Injured Workers in 36 States

May 18, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, May 18, 2023 ― Today, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) released an updated version of its study that compares prices paid for a similar set of medical professional services for treating injured workers across 36 states and monitors price changes from 2008 to 2022.

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WCRI: Changes in Texas Duration of Temporary Disability May Relate to COVID-19 Pandemic

May 16, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, May 16, 2023 – Trends in indemnity components in Texas differed between 2016 and 2021, though wages of workers with injuries grew more than 3 percent per year from 2016 to 2019, according to a recent study published by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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WCRI Webinar to Examine Workers’ Compensation Medical Fee Schedule Design

May 12, 2023

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Cambridge, MA – The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) recently announced that it will be hosting a 30-minute webinar on Thursday, May 25, 2023, at 2 p.m. ET on its study Designing Workers’ Compensation Medical Fee Schedules, 2022.

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7 Questions for WCRI’s New CEO Ramona Tanabe

May 11, 2023

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Ramona Tanabe assumed the role of WCRI’s CEO in May 2023. She shares her thoughts, her goals and career wins that have led her to this position.

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Employers Grappling With Changing Workplace Where Labor Is Scarce & Workers Feel Isolated

May 10, 2023

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A national labor shortage has created ideal conditions for skilled workers to negotiate for better pay and more flexible work schedules, but also new challenges for employers: Staff members aren’t eager to return to the office; job applicants are demanding higher wages; and mental health has deteriorated for many, in some cases transforming star employees into personnel problems.

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WCRI: COVID-19 Pandemic Likely Contributed to the Trends in Indemnity Benefits in Massachusetts

May 09, 2023

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​Cambridge, MA, May 9, 2023 – Indemnity benefits per claim in Massachusetts decreased 7 percent in 2021 following a sizeable increase in the previous year. Duration of temporary disability was a major driver of indemnity trends in both years, according to a recent study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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WCRI: Total Costs per Workers’ Comp Claim in IL Changed Little During Pandemic

May 09, 2023

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Cambridge, MA – The average total cost per claim in Illinois changed little between 2019 and 2021 for injuries evaluated as of the first quarter of 2022, according to a recent study published by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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Illinois comp medical utilization dropped in 2020: Study

May 02, 2023

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The utilization of nonhospital and hospital outpatient services in the Illinois workers compensation system decreased in 2020, the drop attributed to medical facility closures and service limitations during the beginning of the pandemic, according to a new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

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WCRI: Total Costs per Workers’ Compensation Claim in Illinois Changed Little during the Pandemic

May 02, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, May 2, 2023 – The average total cost per claim in Illinois changed little between 2019 and 2021 for injuries evaluated as of the first quarter of 2022, according to a recent study published by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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Message from WCRI CEO Ramona Tanabe

May 01, 2023

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Today, I am honored and excited to officially begin my role as the new president and CEO of the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). I am grateful to my predecessor, friend, and colleague John Ruser for his contributions of eight years. I want to thank the WCRI Board of Directors for their confidence in choosing me to lead WCRI into our next phase.

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2023 WCRI Annual Report Now Available

April 27, 2023

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​Cambridge, MA, April 27, 2023 – The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) announced today that its 2023 WCRI Annual Report is now available on its website. The report takes a comprehensive look at all of the Institute’s activities in 2022, from the studies published to how that research was used by policymakers and other stakeholders.

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WCRI: Florida Costs per Claim Remained Stable in the First Two Years of COVID-19 Pandemic

April 25, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, April 25, 2023—Total costs per claim with more than seven days of lost time in Florida remained stable in 2020 and 2021, following moderate growth of 4–5 percent per year from 2016 to 2019, according to a recent study published by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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For injured workers in Mass., care isn’t easy to come by

April 19, 2023

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Medical providers who treat injured employees in Massachusetts are paid by workers’ comp carriers according to rates established by the state. Those rates, which can be negotiated, haven’t been updated since 2009, and in many cases, providers’ payments from workers’ comp insurance are less than those from Medicare, which are notoriously low. Overall, workers’ comp rates in Massachusetts are 5 percent below state…

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WCRI: COVID-19 Pandemic Continues to Impact Indemnity Benefits and Medical Payments in Various States

April 18, 2023

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​Cambridge, MA, April 18, 2023 – A new series of 14 studies from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found medical payments per claim decreased while indemnity benefits per claim continued to grow in 2020 and 2021 in many states, likely reflecting the impact of changes in economic conditions and usage of medical care during the early COVID-19 pandemic period.

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WCRI: Injured Workers’ Emergency Room Use Varies Widely by State

April 17, 2023

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Nearly a third of injured workers in Massachusetts sought treatment for strains and sprains in a hospital emergency room, while in California and Nevada only 10% did, according to a study by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute.

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WCRI Releases National Inventory of State Regulations Affecting Prescription Drugs

April 04, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, April 4, 2023―Today, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) released a new report that gathers in one place the numerous state regulations affecting prescription drugs in all 50 states, including workers with injuries.

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WCRI: Consolidation of Health Care Driving Up Prices in Work Comp

April 03, 2023

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Consolidation of physician services into larger groups owned by hospitals and health care systems is driving up the cost of care in workers’ compensation, according to a new study by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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Ramona Tanabe to Succeed John Ruser as New WCRI CEO

April 03, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, April 3, 2023―The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) announced today that executive vice president Ramona Tanabe has been named to succeed John Ruser as the new CEO of the Institute. She will assume responsibilities on May 1, 2023. Current CEO John Ruser has served in the position since 2015. John will stay on temporarily as advisor to the CEO to ensure a smooth transition.

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New WCRI Studies Monitor the Impact of Drug Formularies

March 30, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, March 30, 2023―A series of studies from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) examines the impact of formularies on prescription drug utilization and costs in five states (Arkansas, California, Indiana, Kentucky, and New York) that implemented formularies in 2018 and 2019. They also examine the effect on physician dispensing and generic utilization in states with applicable formulary rules.

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New WCRI Study Compares Physicians’ Involvement in the Workers’ Compensation System across 34 States

March 28, 2023

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Cambridge, MA, March 28, 2023―A new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) helps policymakers and stakeholders get an informed view about access to providers in their states by describing the medical workforce treating workers with injuries. The study shows how often physicians treat workers with injuries, examines the volume and the types of services that physicians provide, and examines how these providers fit within…

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Thank You for Attending WCRI’s 2023 Conference!

March 23, 2023

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Thank you to all our speakers and attendees for making our 2023 WCRI Issues & Research Conference our best yet. We hope all our attendees enjoyed learning about our latest research, hearing from our well-regarded keynote speakers and panelists, and networking with our diverse audience. For those who attended, you still have time to download the slides from the conference app. Below are some articles and blog posts written about the…

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