Monitoring Trends in the New York Workers’ Compensation System, 2005-2015

By Carol A. Telles, William Monnin-Browder

October 30, 2017 Related Topics: Annual State Medical CompScope™ Benchmarks

This is the 10th annual report to regularly track key metrics of the performance of the New York workers’ compensation system after the 2007 reforms, which, in addition to other important provisions, increased maximum statutory benefits, limited the number of weeks of permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits, and required the implementation of medical treatment guidelines and a fee schedule for pharmaceuticals. In subsequent years, the system underwent a number of additional regulatory and administrative changes, including the 2017 workers’ compensation reforms included in the 2017-2018 New York state budget.  

In light of the post-2007 changes to the New York workers’ compensation system, this report, which was originally established to monitor the system following the 2007 reforms, has evolved into a tool for tracking key metrics of system performance on an ongoing basis. This regular monitoring helps policymakers and system stakeholders focus attention on policy objectives that are being met, objectives that are not being met, and unintended consequences that have emerged.

The analysis in this edition focuses primarily on trends in indemnity benefits, medical payments, and benefit delivery expenses from 2007 to 2015 for claims at different maturities. In some cases, trends before 2007 are shown to establish a baseline prior to the 2007 reforms. In addition, various interstate comparisons from other WCRI studies are provided to help put the performance of the New York system into perspective, such as the frequency and amount of opioids dispensed to injured workers.

Monitoring Trends in the New York Workers’ Compensation System, 2005–2015. Carol A. Telles and William Monnin-Browder. October 2017. WC-17-51.

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Research Questions:

  • Did utilization of medical care change following implementation of medical treatment guidelines?
  • How did indemnity benefits per claim change after increases in the maximum statutory benefits and caps on duration of PPD benefits?
  • Did defense attorney involvement and average payments change since the 2007 reforms?

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