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

By Rebecca (Rui) Yang, Olesya Fomenko

July 27, 2017 Related Topics: Medical Costs, Medical Price Index

The increasing cost of medical care for treating injured workers has 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 tracks medical prices paid in 31 states from calendar year 2008 through 2016 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 testing, pain management injections, and emergency care.

The 31 states included in the MPI-WC, which represent 85 percent of the workers’ compensation benefits paid in the United States, are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

WCRI Medical Price Index for Workers’ Compensation, Ninth Edition (MPI-WC). Rui Yang and Olesya Fomenko. July 2017. WC-17-33.

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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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