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Texas Workers Comp Payments Decrease Due To Reforms

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Texas Workers Comp Payments Are Lowering 

The state of Texas workers comp payouts decreased for the first time in years.  According to WCRI,  the payments decreased overall by 4%.  This is a very large one year decrease in the current Workers Comp environment.  

Picture Of Hand Thumbs Down Texas Workers Comp And Bar Graph Decrease
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Texas enacted a large group of workers comp reforms in 2008.  As I have mentioned often, the results of a reform measure will not usually appear fully until three to four years after a new law or court case changes the WC environment in a certain state.  

Medical payments decreased by 2%.  I decided to look into this further as there seemed to be a few variables that were not mentioned as hospital network payments had actually increased.  I found this article on a major impact of the Texas reforms.  

The article said it best –Evidence-based treatment guidelines are one method used to control medical costs in the workers’ comp system.The Texas Department of Insurance announced that, as of May 2007, use of the Official Disability Guidelines – Treatment in Workers’ Compensation was required for the treatment of all injured workers not covered by a certified health care network.

Businesswoman Texas Workers Comp Drawing Graph Chart Decrease
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Low back injuries — decreases for the likelihood of surgery, physical medicine, chiropractic manipulation, other radiology, or an injection; a decrease in the number of visits for physical medicine, chiropractic manipulation, other radiology or injections; an increase in the number of services per visit for physical medicine; and a decrease in the number of services per visit for chiropractic manipulation.

I found it interesting that WCRI itself had said in the original article the recession had an effect on the WC environment.    However, an article on the WCRI  website written by Risk & Insurance on the same WCRI study pointed out what I consider the real reason for the decrease in benefits.  

Having better medical control of the low back injuries was likely the cause for the decreased payouts on both indemnity and medical benefits.  

One area that I disagreed with the original WC article by WCRI is the recession is the cause of any decrease in indemnity payments.   As I am originally from that part of the country, I can attest that there is an oil boom of sorts in TX that would easily offset any effects of a recession. 

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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