Study: Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Claim Costs Rising

July 29, 2009

Medical costs for workers’ compensation claims in Pennsylvania are typical of those in other states but rising, according to the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

In a new study, the Cambridge, Mass.-based WCRI found that typical medical costs per claim in 2006 and 2007 stemmed from low per-claim costs for doctors and hospitals, but higher per-claim costs for chiropractors and physical therapists.

Doctor and hospital bill were lower were driven by lowe prices paid to physicians and lower payments per service for hospital outpatient services.

Higher costs for chiropractors and physical and occupational therapists, on the other hand, stemmed from higher use of these services due to more visits.

Payments for chiropractors and physical and occupational therapists in Pennsylvania accounted for 13 percent of total medical spending on claims with more than seven days of lost time in 2006 to 2007, according to the study.

The study also found that in Pennsylvania, more claims received office visits, physical therapy and minor radiology (X-rays) services in a hospital outpatient setting than in other study states.

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