The claim costs and other metrics of 18 state workers’ compensation systems are analyzed in depth in a new series of studies, CompScope™ Benchmarks, 17th Edition, released by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

“The research can help policymakers and other stakeholders identify current cost drivers and emerging trends in a wide variety of workers’ compensation system components,” said Ramona Tanabe, WCRI’s executive vice president and counsel.

The studies examine trends in workers’ compensation medical and indemnity payments in a number of states with significant changes, either through new laws or through court rulings. They also examine how income benefits, medical payments, duration of disability, litigiousness, and benefit delivery expenses changed over time, and they compare how these measures differ from state to state.

The following are sample findings for some of the study states:

  • California: Total costs per claim remained stable between 2010 (claims with experience through March 2013) and 2013 (claims with experience through March 2016), likely reflecting the impact of Senate Bill 863.
  • Florida: Total costs per claim grew moderately from 2010 to 2015, but two 2016 Florida Supreme Court decisions are expected to increase workers’ compensation system costs.
  • Illinois: Total costs per claim decreased 6.4 percent since 2010, reflecting the impact of a 30 percent reduction in fee schedule rates for medical services.
  • Indiana: Total costs per claim decreased 4 percent from 2014 to 2015, the result of a nearly 10 percent decrease in medical payments, partly offset by a nearly 5 percent increase in indemnity benefits per claim. Those changes are likely related to provisions of House Enrolled Act 1320, which enacted a hospital fee schedule and increased income benefits paid to injured workers.
  • North Carolina: Total costs per claim remained steady since 2009, a contrast from earlier years, following several fee schedule changes and House Bill 709 in 2011, which focused on income benefits.

CompScope™ Benchmarks, 17th Edition illustrates the performance of 18 state workers’ compensation systems over time and how they compare. In addition to the states mentioned above, WCRI is also publishing studies for Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The state studies explore the time from injury to first indemnity payment, the average total cost per claim, the average payment per claim for medical care, and the average payment per claim for indemnity benefits.

For more information on these studies, visit

The Cambridge-based WCRI is recognized as a leader in providing high-quality, objective information about public policy issues involving workers' compensation systems. 


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.  

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