The costs per workers’ compensation claim in Pennsylvania are moderating, following years of steady growth in previous years, according to a new study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).
The report, Benchmarks for Pennsylvania, CompScope 14th Edition, said total costs per workers’ compensation claim grew 3.4 percent per year between 2009 and 2011, after 7.6 percent per year growth in the three previous years.
“The study will help policymakers and other stakeholders understand how the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system measures up with other states and serves as an invaluable tool in making system improvements,” said Ramona Tanabe, WCRI’s deputy director and counsel. “The study also examines how system features in Pennsylvania have affected cost components, which differentiate Pennsylvania from the other study states.”
The moderation in growth was seen across all cost components, such as medical payments, wage replacement benefits, and litigation expenses.
Among other major findings:
- The costs of wage replacement, called indemnity benefits, were higher than typical of the 16 states in the WCRI study, driven by longer duration of temporary disability benefits and larger lump-sum settlements.
- Litigation expenses were higher in Pennsylvania relative to other states, possibly the result of system features and processes.
- The costs of medical payments for the treatment of injured workers rose at rates similar to most study states, reflecting the generally stable trend in prices paid for professional services.
Paste this link in your browser to purchase this study: http://www.wcrinet.org/studies/public/books/BMcscope_multi14_PA_book.html.
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