Changes in Michigan’s Workers’ Compensation Medical Fee Schedule: 1996-2002

By Stacey M. Eccleston

December 1, 2002 Related Topics: Fee Schedules

At the request of the Michigan Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), WCRI analyzed how Michigan ’s medical fee schedule levels have changed over time (since 1996). This study provided context for deliberations by the medical advisory group to the BWC. The services analyzed in this report do not include services by hospitals or other facilities such as ambulatory surgery centers. In addition, the report is limited to an analysis of maximum fee schedule levels, not actual payments for services.

Among our findings:

While the overall fee schedule level did not change between 1996 and 1998, we did see a gradual increase in fees since 2000. The fee schedule level in 2002 was 7 percentage points above its 2000 level.

Looking at the 6-year trend (1996-2002), fee schedule levels overall increased by approximately 9 percent. However, the change differed greatly, depending on the service category. Fees in radiology, general medicine and evaluation and management (office visits) increased substantially (21 to 43 percent), while fee levels in surgery and physical medicine declined (between 6 to 13 percent).

Michigan sought to neutralize the incentives for providing invasive versus non-invasive medical services through the adoption in December 1996 of a resourced-based relative value scale based in large part on the Medicare Resource-Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS). Although the overall change in fee schedule levels since 1996 is relatively small (an increase of 9 percent), the adoption of the resource-based relative values in Michigan significantly increased the fee schedule levels for the non-invasive procedures such as evaluation and management versus invasive procedures such as surgery.

FlashReport: Changes in Michigan's Workers’ Compensation Medical Fee Schedule: 1996-2002. Stacey Eccleston. December 2002. FR-02-02.


Copyright: WCRI

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