Workers Compensation Medical Inflation Webinar- WCRI
Was Workers Compensation medical inflation worse than overall medical inflation or overall economic inflation? That is the question covered by WCRI in a webinar presentation yesterday – September 6th. The two presenters from WCRI were Dr. Oleysa Fomenko and Dr. Rebecca Yang.
The webinar addressed the following questions.
- To what extent did the recent sizable price growth spread to the healthcare sector in general and to workers’ compensation in particular?
- What are the trends in workers’ compensation medical payments per claim over the past decade? What are the main drivers of medical cost growth in workers’ compensation?
- Is there evidence of medical inflation for the major types of workers’ compensation providers over the past decade?
- What is the impact of workers’ compensation reimbursement regulations on containing growth in workers’ compensation prices and payments?
An article covering a similar NCCI study in January of this year seemed to heavily agree with the WCRI study.
WCRI (Workers Comp Research Institute) is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. The organization is well-known for supplying unbiased statistics to the Workers Comp industry.
The webinar contained 30+ slides. Below is one of the charts presented on workers compensation medical inflation. Please note that these results are preliminary and may change in the future.
Usually, we hear that medical inflation has far outpaced overall inflation by several percentage points. That was not the case with medical and workers compensation medical.
Fee Schedule States Win Again
When we cover workers compensation medical inflation, the subject of fee schedules always comes to mind. As covered in this website very often, workers comp fee schedule states limit the medical exposure in claims better than non-fee schedule states. The below chart makes that point crystal clear.
The answer to one of the questions posed above is how medical inflation compares to other types of inflation. The two medical statistics show that medical inflation was much less than other types of inflation. Medical inflation usually outpaces overall inflation. During the pandemic, medical inflation and workers compensation medical inflation were much lower.
The WCRI and NCCI studies show that general medical inflation including the workers comp sector was not as severe as in the past. Fee schedule states kept the worker comp medical services in check and did not incur as much inflation as non-fee schedule states. As pointed out in prior articles, workers comp is now the only profitable Property and Casualty line in the insurance world.