Trends in the Delaware Workers’ Compensation System, 2015–2020

By Evelina Radeva

September 14, 2022 Related Topics: CompScope™ Benchmarks, CompScope™ Medical Benchmarks, Medical Price Index

In 2014, Delaware passed House Bill 373, which made changes to the workers’ compensation medical reimbursement system. This report examines the performance of the Delaware workers’ compensation system after the 2014 statutory changes. The goals of the reforms were primarily to reduce medical costs, create a workers’ compensation system that is more efficient, and make Delaware an attractive place for businesses.

The study examines total claim costs, medical payments, indemnity benefits, disability duration, benefit delivery expenses, timeliness of benefit payments to workers, and other metrics. It analyzes how these metrics of system performance have changed over time from 2015 to 2020 (at various claim maturities) with payments made through March 2021. The report also discusses the impact of COVID-19 on workers’ compensation claims in the early months of the pandemic in 2020.

The data used for this report exclude COVID-19 claims, for which the nature or cause of injury was COVID-19. Other WCRI research examined fee schedule changes and included Delaware in price and prescription drug benchmarking studies. Findings from other WCRI studies are included to provide a more complete picture of the Delaware system and to supply historical context for key metrics.

Trends in the Delaware Workers’ Compensation System, 2015–2020. Evelina Radeva. September 2022. WC-22-22.


Copyright: WCRI

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Research Questions:

  • What impact did the 2014 legislation have on total costs per claim?
  • Did the 2014 legislation achieve its goal of lowering medical payments per claim?
  • How did medical utilization and duration of temporary disability change in 2020 during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • What were the changes in indemnity benefits and benefit delivery expenses per claim, and how long does it take for workers to receive their first indemnity payment?

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