Cambridge, MA, October 21, 2021 ― The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) released a new report, Monitoring Trends in the New York Workers’ Compensation System, 2021 Edition, today for policymakers and system stakeholders to track the performance of the New York workers’ compensation system.
Originally established to monitor changes in the system following substantial legislative reforms in March of 2007, the report has evolved into a tool for tracking key metrics of system performance on an ongoing basis, as further legislative reforms and administrative changes continue to shape the system.
“In recent years, New York has implemented several policy changes regarding medical treatment, including medical fee schedule changes, the implementation of a drug formulary for new prescriptions, and the Expanded Provider Law,” said Ramona Tanabe, WCRI’s executive vice president and counsel. “The regular monitoring provided in this report helps focus attention on policy objectives that are being met, objectives that are not being met, and unintended consequences that have emerged.”
The following are among the study’s major findings:
- Medical payments per claim in New York increased 9 percent in 2019, following mostly stable trends from 2014 to 2018. The increase in 2019 reflects a 2019 change to the New York Workers’ Compensation Medical Fee Schedule.
- Indemnity benefits per claim in New York have been mostly stable since 2014, increasing 1–2 percent per year, on average, depending on claim maturity. This period of stability followed rapid growth from 2007 to 2014, which reflects, in part, the 2007 reforms.
- Benefit delivery expenses per claim have increased 4–5 percent per year since 2014, depending on claim maturity. The growth over that period was somewhat slower than the growth over the period from 2007 to 2014, when benefit delivery expenses per claim grew 7–8 percent per year.
The analysis in this edition focuses primarily on trends in indemnity benefits, medical payments, and benefit delivery expenses from 2014 to 2019 for claims at different maturities. Claims with experience through 2020 are analyzed, and in some cases, trends before 2007 are shown to establish a baseline prior to the 2007 reforms. In addition, various interstate comparisons from other WCRI studies are provided to help put the performance of the New York system into perspective, such as prices paid for medical services and the frequency and amount of opioids dispensed to workers.
William Monnin-Browder and Carol A. Telles are the authors of the study. To learn more about this study or to purchase a copy, visit WCRI’s website at https://www.wcrinet.org/reports/monitoring-trends-in-the-new-york-workers-compensation-system-2021-edition
The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Cambridge, MA. Organized in late 1983, the Institute does not take positions on the issues it researches; rather, it provides information obtained through studies and data collection efforts, which conform to recognized scientific methods. Objectivity is further ensured through rigorous, unbiased peer review procedures. WCRI's diverse membership includes employers; insurers; governmental entities; managed care companies; health care providers; insurance regulators; state labor organizations; and state administrative agencies in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.