CompScope™ Benchmarks for North Carolina, 18th Edition

By Carol A. Telles

April 23, 2018 Related Topics: Annual State CompScope™ Benchmarks

This study continues to monitor the effects of major legislation passed in 2011, House Bill (HB) 709. It includes claims occurring up to slightly more than five years after the income benefit provisions of HB 709 became effective, so it provides a look at changes in patterns of some indemnity components that could be related to those provisions.

New fee schedule rules became effective in 2015, with reimbursement based on a percentage of Medicare. Phased-in decreases in reimbursement for hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) went into effect in April 2015, while changes in reimbursement for nonhospital (professional) services became effective in July 2015. Those changes are reflected in the medical data we report, up to 24 months of experience under the hospital and ASC fee schedules and up to 21 months of experience following implementation of the nonhospital fee schedule. Taken together, the income benefit provisions in HB 709 and the hospital fee schedule reductions targeted the key cost drivers in North Carolina—slower return to work (hence longer duration of temporary disability), larger lump-sum settlements, and higher payments for hospital outpatient care as compared with the typical study state.

This study compares the performance of the North Carolina workers’ compensation system with 17 other states, focusing on income benefits, overall medical payments, costs, use of benefits, duration of temporary disability, litigiousness, benefit delivery expenses, timeliness of payment, and other metrics. It also examines how these system performance metrics have changed primarily from 2011 to 2016. Claims with experience through 2017 for injuries up to and including 2016 were analyzed, and, in some cases, we used a longer time frame to supply historical context.

CompScope™ Benchmarks for North Carolina, 18th Edition. Carol A. Telles. April 2018. WC-18-11.

Copyright: WCRI

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Research Questions:

  • What impact has HB 709 and other legislative changes had on key cost drivers?
  • How does North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system compare with 17 other states?
  • How has the performance of North Carolina’s workers' compensation system changed over time?

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