New Hampshire Workers’ Comp Medical Costs Significantly Higher

May 29, 2014

In the world of workers’ compensation, the fees charged by the healthcare community
are significantly more expensive on average in New Hampshire than in other states,
according to the New Hampshire Insurance Department.

“Medical costs in New Hampshire have grown to almost 75 percent of total workers’
compensation dollars in New Hampshire, compared to about 60 percent countrywide,”
said Deb Stone, actuary and director of market regulation at the Insurance Department. “It’s my belief, based on actuarial analysis, that the lack of limitation on what can be
charged by medical providers and facilities is a major contributor to this trend.”

New Hampshire went from being listed as the 14th most expensive state for workers’
compensation coverage in the country in 2008 to the 9th most expensive in 2012,
according to the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Rate Ranking Study.

Physicians’ Services

On average, workers’ compensation surgical procedures in New Hampshire are 83
percent more expensive than those in the region* and more than twice as expensive
as they are nationally, according to data from the National Council on Compensation

In total, the data included four categories of physician services: surgical, radiology,
physical and occupational therapies, and doctors’ visits.

Insurance Department actuaries found that medical costs in New Hampshire exceeded
those in surrounding states and the nation by a substantial margin in all four categories.

For radiology, the costs were 35 percent more expensive than in the region and 66
percent more expensive than nationally; for physical and occupational therapies, the
costs were 95 percent and 64 percent more expensive, respectively; and for doctors’
visits, costs were 36 percent and 47 percent more expensive.

The data represent the most common procedures comprising at least 50 percent of the
total dollars spent by workers’ compensation insurance companies on physician services.

“New Hampshire is more expensive, not only on average, but for every single individual
physicians’ services procedure reviewed, save one,” said Insurance Commissioner Roger
Sevigny. “We are among the most expensive states for workers’ compensation, and it makes it more costly for businesses to operate here.”


On average, the costs for surgical procedures at ambulatory surgical centers in New Hampshire are 37 percent more expensive than the surrounding region and 77 percent
more expensive than countrywide.

Also, on average, hospital outpatient surgical procedures cost 15 percent more in New
Hampshire than in the region and 25 percent more than countrywide.

Further, in cases where the same procedure may be performed either as a hospital outpatient procedure or in an ambulatory surgical center, the data show that the cost in
the ambulatory surgical center is generally more – in some instances as much as twice as
expensive, or even higher.

For hospital outpatient non‐surgery procedures, the state is 51 percent more expensive
than both the surrounding region and countrywide on average.

New Hampshire is one of just six states that do not have legal guidelines in place to cap
the amount that health care providers can charge workers’ compensation insurers for

In addition, current state law (RSA 281 ‐ A:24 I) mandates that workers’ compensation
insurance “shall pay the full amount of the health care provider’s bill.”

Source: New Hampshire Insurance Department

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