One way to examine the performance of state workers’ compensation systems is in the context of a “key value proposition.” That is, when employers pay more for medical care, workers should experience better outcomes. Otherwise, the logical question becomes: Why are employers paying more? Similarly, if workers’ compensation medical costs are rising rapidly, workers’ outcomes should be improving.
This study examines how nine states compare on this key value proposition by juxtaposing worker outcomes in each state within the areas of recovery of health and functioning, return to work, access to medical care, and satisfaction with medical care with data on the costs and utilization of workers’ compensation medical care. Information on worker outcomes can help policymakers address a wide range of issues, including whether state systems that have higher medical costs or utilization of medical care, for example, are associated with better outcomes for injured workers.
Comparing Outcomes for Injured Workers in Nine Large States is the fourth in a series of multistate studies that measures key outcomes for injured workers who receive medical care and income benefits from state workers’ compensation systems. The nine states in the study represent large and diverse systems with differences in state laws and system features such as choice of provider, medical fee schedules, claim costs, and the payment of income benefits for permanent disabilities. They also differ in geographic location and industry mix.
Among our findings:
Comparing Outcomes for Injured Workers in Nine Large States. Sharon E. Belton, Richard A. Victor, Te-Chun Liu. May 2007. WC-07-14.
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