In the News

Paduda: WCRI [conference] is just around the corner

January 16, 2018

Had a chance to sit down with WCRI CEO John Ruser a couple weeks ago and get his take on the Institute’s Annual Meeting, scheduled for March 22-23. For those who have yet to attend WCRI, get yourself there this year…and unlike other conferences, attendance is limited. I’d strongly encourage you to register now if you haven’t already…

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Webinar on WCRI’s Latest Research on Fee Schedules and Medical Prices

October 13, 2017

Cambridge, MA, October 12, 2017—The various design choices of fee schedule regulations and their impact on variation in medical payments across state workers’ compensation systems will be discussed during an hour-long webinar by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, at 12 noon ET (11 a.m. CT, 10 a.m. MT, and 9 a.m. PT).

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The Workforce’s Hidden Addicts

September 29, 2017

The nationwide opioid addiction epidemic is seeping into the workplace but hard to detect and deal with. Meanwhile, its potential impact on the labor force is staggering.

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It’s Prime’s time: Occupational medicine business plans moves to New Orleans, Texas

September 24, 2017

Although work-related injuries and illnesses in Louisiana dropped 35 percent from 2005 to 2015, the costs of injuries that force employees to miss more than seven days of work were both higher and grew faster than in most other states. A report from the Workers' Compensation Research Institute shows in those instances, total costs per claim in Louisiana averaged more than $30,000 for a 12-month period.

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Doctors keep dispensing despite reforms

September 6, 2017

Business Insurance | By Louise Esola | 9/4/2017

States that enacted reforms to rein in the high cost of drugs dispensed by physicians to injured workers face an uphill battle as some doctors find loopholes in the regulations.

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Employers Do to Fight the Opioid Epidemic?

September 5, 2017

Opioid prescriptions have nearly quadrupled since 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the drugs help people manage pain, they are also addictive. Eight to 12 percent of opioid users develop an opioid use disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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Study: Fewer Injured Workers Prescribed Opioids After Kentucky Reforms

August 30, 2017

Kentucky Public Radio | By Lisa Gillespie | August 29, 2017

Workers injured on the job received fewer prescription opioids after landmark legislation passed in Kentucky that set up a drug monitoring database, according to a new study out Tuesday.

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Addressing the Physician Dispensing Challenge

August 24, 2017

​Risk & Insurance | By Katie Kuehner-Hebert | August 24, 2017

Although many states have enacted regulations to curb physician dispensing, doctors are finding ways to get around restrictions — driving up costs for workers’ compensation systems.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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