The average total cost per workers’ compensation claim in Indiana was stable in the years since the state enacted workers’ compensation system reforms, according to a recent Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) study.
The study, CompScope Benchmarks for Indiana, 18th Edition, provides a look at changes in the Indiana workers’ compensation system following the enactment in 2013 of House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1320. The legislation included the implementation of a hospital fee schedule that took effect on July 1, 2014, as well as increases in indemnity benefits in three yearly increments beginning in 2014.
“Recent stability of cost trends is likely related to provisions in HEA 1320,” said Ramona Tanabe, WCRI executive vice president and counsel. “Since 2013, payments per claim changed little, in contrast to growth averaging 6 percent per year from 2004 to 2013.”
For the study, WCRI analyzed workers’ compensation claims with experience through 2017 for injuries up to and including 2016. WCRI compared Indiana with workers’ compensation systems in 17 other states and found workers’ compensation costs in Indiana were typical of those in the other states studied. Medical payments per claim remained higher in Indiana and indemnity benefits per claim remained lower in Indiana when compared with most of other states WCRI studied.
The following are among the study’s other findings:
- From 2014 to 2015, medical payments per claim decreased 12 percent due in part to the introduction of a hospital fee schedule, which took effect on July 1, 2014.
- From 2015 to 2016, medical payments per claim increased 9 percent, which may partly reflect system features.
- Indemnity benefits per claim increased 4 percent from 2014 to 2015 and 11 percent from 2015 to 2016. The income benefit provisions of HEA 1320 were likely a factor in the recent increases in indemnity benefits per claim.
This article was first published by Claims Journal.