Rising hospital costs have been a concern and focus of recent public policy debates in many states. To assist policymakers and business decision makers in managing this growth, WCRI has created this unique study, which is updated regularly, to compare hospital outpatient costs across states, identify key cost drivers, and measure the impact of reforms. In particular, this study updates a recently published 33-state study with an extra year of data and the early impact analysis of major regulatory changes in North Carolina.
The hospital outpatient cost indices compare payments per surgical episode for common outpatient surgeries under workers’ compensation from state to state for each study year and the trends within each state from 2005 to 2013. To capture only payments for services provided and billed by hospitals, the indices exclude professional services billed by nonhospital medical providers (such as physicians, physical therapists, and chiropractors) and transactions for durable medical equipment and pharmaceuticals billed by providers other than hospitals. This study also excludes payments made to ambulatory surgery centers.
This study covers 33 large states that represent 86 percent of the workers’ compensation benefits paid in the United States. They are geographically diverse and represent a wide range of industries and a variety of regulation choices for hospital payments under workers’ compensation. These states are Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Hospital Outpatient Cost Index for Workers' Compensation, 4th Edition. Olesya Fomenko and Rui Yang. February 2015. WC-15-23.
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