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Study: Workers’ Compensation Medical Costs Trending Down


October 29, 2018

GEORGIA – October 18, 2018 (businessinsurance.com) A study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute shows that medical costs in workers’ compensation claims are trending down, according to an online article from businessinsurance.com.*

The Institute studied medical costs in 18 states, including Georgia, and released 16 reports that showed state-by-state comparisons. Most of the studied states have adopted reforms and changes to fee schedules in the last several years, which could be the reasons behind a trend in lower amounts paid for medical care. 

The 18 states in the study included Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Every state had an individual report expect for Arkansas and Iowa. 

In addition to showing medical costs per state, the reports ranked each state according to medical payments per workers’ compensation claim in 2017. Wisconsin, Virginia, and Indiana had the highest costs, according to the Institute’s cost-per-claim averaging, at just below $20,000. Massachusetts, California, and Michigan had the lowest costs, averaging between $5,000 and $10,000 in medical payments per claim. 

In Georgia, workers’ compensation claims are handled by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, which was established in 1920 through the Workers’ Compensation Act of Georgia. Today, the Board serves more than 250,000 employers in Georgia and almost 4 million workers. The Board is funded by insurance companies and self-insured employers and provides procedures for injured workers to receive timely compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation, and other benefits. The Board hears claims, facilitates mediation, and makes determinations on eligibility for benefits and payments. 

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