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).
“Changes in economic conditions and usage of medical care during the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the following recovery period have affected the indemnity and medical trends since 2019,” said Ramona Tanabe, executive vice president and general counsel of WCRI.
Indemnity benefits per claim in Florida remained stable in 2021 following a moderate increase in 2020, masking different trends in key components. Wages of workers with injuries in Florida grew faster in 2020 and 2021 than in prior study years. The average duration of temporary disability (TD) in the state remained stable in 2021 after an increase of half a week in 2020. Aspects of the Florida economy, such as changes in unemployment and wage growth, during the early pandemic and recovery period contributed to the indemnity trends since 2019.
Medical payments per claim in Florida decreased by 5 percent in 2020 followed by little change in 2021, a change of pattern from the previous moderate growth from 2016 to 2019. Prices paid for nonhospital professional services in Florida remained stable in 2020 and 2021. The main driver of the decrease in medical payments per claim in 2020 was the widespread decrease in the utilization of medical care across many providers and services, which reflects some early impact from the pandemic.
The following are among the study’s other findings:
- Most study states (including Florida) experienced decreasing or stable TD durations in 2021 after increases in 2020, a shift in the share of claims from the lower-wage to the middle-wage category since 2019, and decreases in the utilization of medical care in 2020.
- Total costs per claim in Florida were typical of the study states.
The 23rd edition of CompScope™ Benchmarks for Florida 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-florida-23rd-edition. Rebecca Yang authored this study.
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.