In the News

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

January 12, 2024

Emergency Department

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

April 03, 2023

Emergency Department

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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The Long Tail of Workers’ Compensation and COVID

March 23, 2023

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The insurance line of workers’ compensation is described as a “long tail,” since the costs often occur years after the date of loss. Interestingly, the costs associated with “long COVID” are also higher and last longer than a COVID-19 claim with no or minimal initial medical care.

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Leadership, Training Needed to Address Changes in Workplace

March 23, 2023

Emergency Department

The closing session of the Workers Compensation Research Institute’s 39th annual Issues & Research Conference on Wednesday highlighted the event's theme of “Disruption, Resilience and Evolution” by focusing on the real-world issues of remote and hybrid work environments.

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Mental health, other workplace issues plague employment

March 23, 2023

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a variety of workplace disruptions, from forcing employers to build an infrastructure supportive of remote work to figuring out how to deal with hybrid or remote workers experiencing mental health crises, a panel of experts said Wednesday.

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

March 23, 2023

Emergency Department

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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Medical Inflation Largely Tracks National Averages Despite Steep Rise in Hospital Costs

March 22, 2023

Emergency Department

Workers’ compensation medical inflation has largely been driven by increases in reimbursements for hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers, according to economist Olesya Fomenko, who spoke about inflation trends during the Workers Compensation Research Institute 39th annual Issues & Research Conference Tuesday

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Climate Change Impacts Workers’ Compensation Claims

March 22, 2023

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Even former deniers acknowledge that climate change is impacting claim costs, preparation and handling, according to an interesting dialogue Carol Tele moderated with Jill Leonard of Louisiana and Jeff Rush from California during the Workers Compensation Research Institute’s 39th annual Issues & Research Conference.

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WCRI kicks off…

March 22, 2023

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and for the first time in forever I’m not there…apologies to my friends at WCRI; a Board meeting conflicted with this year’s annual meeting.

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Climate change creates heightened workers comp exposures

March 22, 2023

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Climate change has hit states’ workers compensation systems, as more severe weather patterns, wildfires and other incidents have resulted in lost worker hours and had detrimental effects on mental health, among other things, a panel of experts said.

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Impact of the Labor Shortages

March 22, 2023

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One of the big lessons from this labor shortage is the importance of planning ahead. Airline pilots have a mandatory retirement age, and many also retired early after the pandemic. If you are not coming out of the military as a pilot, it takes three years of training to become a commercial pilot. The training is expensive, which limits the pool of candidates significantly. United has started a flight school and is working with others to…

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WCRI: Extended Physical Medicine Treatment Drives Up Cost of Low Back Claims

March 22, 2023

Emergency Department

Low back pain is one of the most common workplace injuries. Most cases can be resolved through physical medicine. Treatment guidelines call for two to three visits a week for four to six weeks and then an evaluation to determine if more therapy is needed.

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Work in the Future

March 21, 2023

Emergency Department

At the 2023 WCRI Annual Conference, internationally recognized MIT Economist David Autor opened the event talking about globalization and automation and their impact on jobs, the nature of work, and state workers’ compensation systems.

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Medical Inflation

March 21, 2023

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At the 2023 WCRI Annual Conference, Dr. Olesya Formenko from WCRI talked about how medical inflation impacts workers’ compensation.

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Severe Weather Events and Workers Compensation

March 21, 2023

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At the 2023 WCRI Annual conference, Jill Leonard from Louisiana Workers Compensation Corporation (LWCC) and Jeff Rush from California JPIA discussed the impact that severe weather events have on workers compensation.

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Extended Use of Physical Medicine for Low Back Pain

March 21, 2023

Emergency Department

At the 2023 WCRI Annual Conference, Dongchun Wang from WCRI presented a study on the extended use of physical medicine (PM) to treat low back pain.

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Georgia House Votes to Raise Workers’ Comp Benefits, Still Lower than Other States

March 02, 2023

Emergency Department

The Georgia House of Representatives voted this week to raise the maximum workers’ compensation benefit amounts and to increase the maximum payout to dependent spouses. House Bill 480, sponsored by Rep. Lehman Franklin, R-Statesboro, and others, was approved by a vote of 154-15 this week. It now goes to the state Senate.

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Updating medical fee schedules takes balance

March 02, 2023

Emergency Department

Medical inflation is a top concern in workers compensation this year and adjusting medical fee schedules may be one way to address rising costs, although the appetite for change is limited, comp experts say. While some states have introduced legislation to overhaul their schedules, variations in costs among states illustrate the complexity of the issue, they say.

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Workers’ comp study looks at long COVID claims

March 02, 2023

Emergency Department

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, 7% of people who submitted workers’ compensation claims for the disease developed long COVID, according to a recent study. Experts from the Workers Compensation Research Institute analyzed data on COVID-19 cases diagnosed March 2020 through September 2020 – before the emergence of delta, omicron and other variants of the virus. That analysis included payments for medical care or indemnity benefits…

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Georgia House Votes to Raise Workers’ Comp Benefits, Still Lower than Other States

March 02, 2023

Emergency Department

The Georgia House of Representatives voted this week to raise the maximum workers’ compensation benefit amounts and to increase the maximum payout to dependent spouses. House Bill 480, sponsored by Rep. Lehman Franklin, R-Statesboro, and others, was approved by a vote of 154-15 this week. It now goes to the state Senate.

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Workers’ comp > all other healthcare payers. Period.

February 15, 2023

Emergency Department

Work comp payers actually care about the patients recovery, return to functionality, ability, and productivity. Work comp HAS to…screwing up recovery = huge financial penalties in the form of claims that last forever, really costly settlements, and migraine-level headaches for all involved.

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Back Patients Report Lower Function Despite Physical Therapy

February 15, 2023

Emergency Department

Injured workers with low back pain whose injuries are covered by workers' compensation reported the lowest improvement in function following physical therapy compared to patients covered by all other payment systems, according to study released Tuesday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

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Comp back patients report lower function following physical therapy

February 14, 2023

Emergency Department

Injured workers with low back pain whose injuries are covered by workers compensation insurers and employers reported the lowest improvements in function following physical therapy than patients covered by all other payment systems, according to study released Tuesday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

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31% of Workers Filing COVID Claims Suffer Long-Term, but Rate Declining: New York Fund

February 10, 2023

Emergency Department

A report released this month by New York State Insurance Fund found that 31% of workers who filed claims for COVID-19 continued medical treatment or took time off work more than 60 days after the initial infection.

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Long COVID’s effect on workers comp costs remains unknown

February 08, 2023

Emergency Department

Workers compensation claims involving long COVID may rise this year, though cost projections are hard to come by, experts say.

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Cumulative trauma claims costs add up

February 01, 2023

Emergency Department

Injuries to body parts that are caused by repetitive motion, frequent exposure to sounds, chemicals or even vibrations are among the most perplexing in the workers compensation sector.

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WCRI Finds 7% of COVID-19 Claimants Developed ‘Long COVID’

January 31, 2023

Emergency Department

A new study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute found 7% of workers with COVID-19 claims received treatment for long COVID.

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Long COVID present in small number of comp claims: Study

January 26, 2023

Emergency Department

A small percentage of employees with COVID-19 workers compensation claims during the early days of the pandemic received additional medical care in the months after their diagnosis due to long COVID, according to a study.

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How Timing is Key in the World of PT

January 24, 2023

Emergency Department

There’s a saying that goes, “To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be too late.” You may see this as a hyperbole in many situations, but in the case of physical therapy, we might find that there is wisdom in the famous expression. There’s no debate on physical therapy’s benefit to recovery for various musculoskeletal conditions.

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How we rank: Health spending, prosperity, workers comp

January 11, 2023

Emergency Department

Delaware ranks a dismal third in one measure of health care spending. NiceRx have revealed the US states paying the most for healthcare, as well as the states where residents are paying the most for prescription medication and the most costly injuries and illnesses.

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Study: Emergency Department Use Among Injured Workers Varied By State

December 21, 2022

Emergency Department

There was substantial variation across states in the rates of emergency department (ED) use among workers seeking care for new injuries between 2019 and 2021, according to a new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

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State plans may push injured workers toward emergency rooms: Study

December 20, 2022

Emergency Department

Emergency room visits by injured workers showed “substantial variation” across 28 states, even for the same injuries, calling into question whether some state programs push the more expensive care at the onset of an injury regardless of medical necessity, according to a report released Monday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

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Workers Comp Large Deductible 2023 Resolutions – Top 10

December 15, 2022

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Every year J&L provides resolutions for regular voluntary market policies and self insureds. During a recent phone call, blog and newsletter reader asked if I could do an article on workers comp large deductible programs for 2023.

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WCRI: Medical Payments per Claim in Indiana Decreased in 2020, Some Impact from COVID-19

December 05, 2022

Emergency Department

Medical payments per claim decreased in Indiana for 2020 injuries with experience through March 2021 after growing in 2019, according to a recent study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). This fluctuation in medical payments, in part, reflects factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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WCRI Webinar to Cover Behavioral Health Care in Comp

November 23, 2022

Emergency Department

The Workers Compensation Research Institute will host a free 30-minute webinar on Dec. 15 to discuss its recent study, “A Primer on Behavioral Health Care in Workers’ Compensation.”

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WCRI: Medical Payments per Claim in Indiana Decreased in 2020, Reflect Some Impact from the COVID-19 Pandemic

November 17, 2022

Emergency Department

Medical payments per claim decreased in Indiana for 2020 injuries with experience through March 2021 after growing in 2019, according to a recent study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). This fluctuation in medical payments, in part, reflects factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Psychosocial Barriers Not Uncommon in Workers’ Comp Recoveries

November 16, 2022

Emergency Department

Workers returning to work after an injury can face various obstacles depending on the nature of their injury and the job, their available benefits and rehabilitation needs, even transportation challenges.

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Study Traces COVID-19 Impact on New York Workers’ Compensation Claims

October 21, 2022

Emergency Department

During the height of the pandemic, New York workers’ compensation indemnity payments increased while medical payments decreased.

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Delaware Workers’ Compensation System the Focus of Upcoming WCRI Webinar

October 19, 2022

Emergency Department

The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) will host a free 30-minute webinar on Nov. 17, 2022, at 2 p.m. ET on its study Trends in the Delaware Workers' Compensation System, 2015–2020.

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WCRI: Medical Payments per Claim in Florida Decreased 5 Percent in 2020, Reflect Some Impact from the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 14, 2022

Emergency Department

Medical payments per claim decreased 5 percent in Florida for 2020 injuries with experience through March 2021, according to a recent study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). This likely reflects factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the earlier period from 2015 to 2019, medical payments per claim grew 4–5 percent per year.

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The GB Journal: Good News On Drugs and Comp

October 13, 2022

Emergency Department

Once more, the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) hits the bullseye. Their new report on pharmacy costs inside workers’ comp (webinar on 29 September at 2 PM EDT) takes an in-depth look at drug cost trends in some 28 states. Overall, the news is good to very good, but, comp being comp, there are a few exceptions:

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WCRI Opens Registration for 2023 Issues & Research Conference

October 13, 2022

Emergency Department

The Workers Compensation Research Institute opened registration for its 39th annual Issues & Research Conference, being held March 21-22 in Phoenix.

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Work comp drug spend – profiteering rampant in LA FL and PA

October 06, 2022

Emergency Department

WCRI’s webinar on interstate variations in drug payments reminds us that lax regulations and absent legislators cost taxpayers and employers millions.

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Comp medical payments decrease slightly during pandemic

October 06, 2022

Emergency Department

Medical payments per claim decreased more than 3% in the pandemic years 2020 and 2021 in half of the states studied by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute.

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Workers’ Comp and Opioids—Time for a Checkup

October 01, 2022

Emergency Department

Eight years ago, I wrote in these pages about an epidemic of prescription drug abuse and how doctors, hospitals, insurers, and regulators were responding. I focused on workers’ compensation insurance because that is what I know best.

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