WCRI 2021 State of the States: Selective Findings
The WCRI 2021 State of the States was extremely informative as it has been every year that I have attended the conference.
Speakers: Bogdan Savych, Ph.D., Rebecca Yang, Ph.D.
Dr. Savych compared much of what happened in the current pandemic with the 2008 – 2009 great recession. A few of the stark statistics on the current pandemic were:
- 6,000,000 jobs lost due to pandemic – I think this number will increase as adjustments are made by such organizations as the Bureau of Labor Statistics – BLS
- 27% concerned about job security – this number may end up much higher after the pandemic has lessened.
Dr. Yang presented the Workers Comp data. Workers Comp fee schedules have always been one of my recommended ways that state governments can supply great medical care along with cost reductions for their state’s employers.
The fee schedule results on outpatient facility charges:
- AL was 136% above the median state in the 2018 study
- NV was 60% lower than the median state
The fixed amount fee schedule states showed decreases in medical charges. One can usually expect a decrease in medical charges when a fixed fee schedule has been enacted in the respective states.
An example was VA with a 32% reduction in ASC fees. (ASC – Ambulatory Surgical Centers)
I have written on VA needing a fee schedule since the mid-2000s. One of the main concerns with having a fixed fee schedule is that physicians will turn away Workers’ Comp patients. This has not happened in any state at any time that I can remember.