WCRI Medical Price Index for Workers’ Compensation, 10th Edition (MPI-WC)

By Rebecca (Rui) Yang, Olesya Fomenko

June 13, 2018 Related Topics: Medical Costs, Medical Price Index

The increasing costs of medical care for treating injured workers have been a focus of public policymakers and system stakeholders in many states. To help them conduct meaningful comparisons of prices paid across states, and to monitor the price trends in relation to changes in fee schedules and network participation, this annual study creates an index for the actual prices paid for professional services based on a marketbasket of commonly used services for treating injured workers.

The MPI-WC compares medical prices paid in 35 states and tracks price changes in most states over a 10-year span from 2008 to 2017 for professional services billed by physicians, physical therapists, and chiropractors. The medical services fall into eight groups: evaluation and management, physical medicine, surgery, major radiology, minor radiology, neurological and neuromuscular testing, pain management injections, and emergency care.

The 35 states included in the MPI-WC, which represent 87 percent of the workers' compensation benefits paid in the United States, are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

WCRI Medical Price Index for Workers’ Compensation, 10th Edition (MPI-WC). Rui Yang and Olesya Fomenko. June 2018. WC-18-21.

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Research Questions:

  • How do prices paid for medical professional services for injured workers in my state compare with other states?
  • How are prices in my state changing?
  • Is the price trend in my state part of a national phenomenon or are the causes unique to my state and, hence, subject to local issues?

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