Healthcare Workers’ Comp Claims Drop Predicted: Aon

January 15, 2015

Reduced frequency and loss rates, concerns with patient management and emerging risks are some of the findings in the second annual Aon Risk Solutions’ Health Care Workers Compensation Barometer report.

The report explores trends in frequency, severity and overall loss rates related to workers’ compensation for approximately 1,150 heath care facilities across the country.

The 2014 report projects that healthcare workers’ compensation loss rates and frequency will decrease by one percent annually. The report revealed the frequency of workers’ compensation claims has been consistently decreasing at the same level over the ten year experience period analyzed, while workers’ compensation claim severity has been slowly increasing at a rate of two percent per year over the same ten year period.

Survey data highlighting specific concerns and issues within the healthcare industry highlighted patient management, including handling and lifting, as the number one concern by risk managers. Patient management accounts for one third of all claims and has the highest average indemnity payout of all causes of loss.

“Patient handling is clearly a leading concern in the healthcare industry; however, risks associated with emerging outbreaks, like Ebola, are driving new conversations in the boardroom,” said Barry Weiner, managing director and National Senior Care Practice leader. “Risks, such as materials handling, used to be a small average indemnity paid relative to other causes of loss but the frequency of these types of claims appears to be on the rise.”

Other key findings from Aon’s report include:

  • 90 percent of survey respondents have a return to work program but only 65 percent have metrics in place to test the effectiveness of the program.
  • 95 percent of survey respondents have a formal safety committee.
  • 17 percent of survey respondents have a safety incentive program in place.
  • For the 2015 accident year, Aon projects that healthcare facilities will experience an annual loss rate of $0.75 per $100 of payroll. This projection applies at the countrywide level and is made assuming a $500,000 per occurrence limit.
  • Home Health Care Aide, as an occupation, has the highest average indemnity cost among workers’ compensation claims. This is potentially due to patient management.
  • Among the eleven states profiled within the report, California ($2.18) has the highest projected loss rate for 2015; Tennessee ($0.48) has the lowest projected loss rate for 2015.

In addition, the 2014 report examines other healthcare industry workers’ compensation trends, including claim frequency and severity by department and occupation. The report analyzes the department and occupation fields within claim data to measure the relative frequency and severity of claims by department and occupation, separately. The barometer report also provides statistical information on historical frequency, severity and overall loss rates specific to 11 states.

Source: Aon

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