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).
“The recent changes in duration of temporary disability in Texas may reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic conditions,” said Ramona Tanabe, president and CEO of WCRI.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas experienced strong growth in employment and wages across most industry sectors, with the unemployment rate close to the national average. However, as the pandemic struck, businesses were forced to close or limit operations for a time and jobs were lost, resulting in more limited return-to-work opportunities for workers with injuries; this likely contributed to the increased duration of temporary disability in 2020. In 2021, duration of temporary disability decreased nearly one week in Texas.
The following are among the study’s other findings:
- Total costs per claim and most key components in Texas changed little from 2016 to 2021 for non-COVID-19 claims with more than seven days of lost time at 12 months of experience.
- From 2017 to 2019, medical payments per claim increased more than 4 percent per year, with growth mainly driven by hospital payments per inpatient episode for claims at 12 months of experience. From 2019 to 2021, however, medical payments per claim decreased 6 percent per year.
- Indemnity benefits per claim in Texas decreased 5 percent from 2020 to 2021, following growth of more than 3 percent from 2019 to 2020.
The 23rd edition of CompScope™ Benchmarks for Texas provides ongoing annual monitoring of how indemnity benefits, medical payments, and benefit delivery expenses per claim in the state’s workers’ compensation system change over time, and how these metrics compare with 16 other states.
To learn more about this study or to purchase a copy, visit https://www.wcrinet.org/reports/compscope-benchmarks-for-texas-23rd-edition. Carol Telles authored this study.
The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Cambridge, MA. Organized in 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.