Comparing Outcomes for Injured Workers in North Carolina, 2016 Interviews

By Bogdan Savych, Vennela Thumula

June 20, 2017 Related Topics: Access to Care, Outcomes for Injured Workers, Return to Work, Outcomes for Injured Workers

This study updates interstate comparisons of the key outcomes achieved by injured workers in North Carolina and 14 other states. It reflects a multiyear effort by WCRI to collect and examine data on the outcomes of medical care achieved by injured workers in a growing number of states.

By examining outcomes of injured workers, policymakers and other stakeholders can better understand how different state workers’ compensation systems compare in order to identify and prioritize opportunities to improve system performance. The outcomes we examine in this study include the following:

  • Recovery of physical health and functioning
  • Return to work
  • Earnings recovery
  • Access to medical care
  • Satisfaction with medical care

North Carolina data underlying these comparisons are from 2016 interviews of workers injured in 2013. The study provides interstate comparisons of key case-mix adjusted outcomes across 15 states. The study also indicates whether or not the North Carolina value was higher, somewhat higher, similar, somewhat lower, or lower compared with the median of the 15 states.

Comparing Outcomes for Injured Workers in North Carolina, 2016 Interviews. Bogdan Savych and Vennela Thumula. June 2017. WC-17-25.

Copyright: WCRI

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Research Questions:

  • How do outcomes reported by injured workers in North Carolina compare to those reported in other states?
  • What percentage of injured workers were able to go back to work and stay employed after initial return to work?
  • How did recovery of physical health and functioning vary across study states?
  • What percentage of injured workers were satisfied with their overall medical care?
  • What percent of injured workers reported “big problems” getting desired medical care?

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