Nearly a quarter of COVID comp cases involve long COVID

Twenty-four percent of COVID-19 workers compensation claimants have or had long COVID, according to a report released Monday by the National Council on Compensation Insurance.

Overall, 20% of non-hospitalized and 47% of hospitalized workers with admitted COVID-19 claims developed long COVID, according to the Boca Raton, Florida-based ratings agency.

NCCI relied on claims data extending through the first quarter of this year, for claims with accident dates between March 2020 and June 2021. The data “does not fully reflect the potentially longer-term impacts of long COVID,” NCCI said.

The average temporary disability indemnity benefit duration for long COVID patients was about 160 days for hospitalized patients and 95 days for non-hospitalized patients. Breaking out the demographics, most long COVID claims — 34.9% for hospitalized patients and 30.4% for non-hospitalized patients — were in the 51-60 age group, and females were more likely to have long COVID, accounting for 79% of hospitalized claimants and 61.8% of non-hospitalized claimants.

The report also highlighted the number of medical specialties involved in caring for a patient with long COVID, which comprise more than 150 medical codes associated with the diagnosis and are grouped into eight symptom groups. The most common, in order, are, pulmonary or cardiovascular, followed by neurological, systemic, endocrine, autoimmune, mood disorders and sleep disorders.

Hospitalized patients sought more physical medical services in the 30- to 270-day post-acute infection period of COVID-19 than non-hospitalized patients. Home health care services performed in that time frame were among the top three medical services provided for patients who had been hospitalized.

Prescriptions for pulmonary inhalers dominated both the hospitalized and non-hospitalized cohorts of patients.

This article was first published in Business Insurance.

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