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Injured workers in Texas networks use fewer hospital services: Study

Injured workers in Texas networks use fewer hospital services: Study

AUSTIN, Texas—A report released by the Texas Department of Insurance shows the state's workers compensation health care networks typically have lower hospital utilization rates than non-network health providers.

However, the data shows that injured employees tended to be less satisfied with network care.

The 2011 Workers' Compensation Network Report Card, released Monday by the Texas Workers' Compensation Research and Evaluation Group, evaluated the largest network care providers in the state against non-network providers.

Workers who used network providers such as CorVel Corp., Coventry Health Care Workers Compensation Inc. and First Health Group Corp. tended to use fewer hospital services than those who used non-network care, the report shows. But professional and pharmacy service utilization rates were reportedly higher for networks.

Injured workers who participated in a state survey generally reported lower satisfaction with services from network provides. However, the state found that workers received faster access to nonemergency services through networks.

Workers from eight of Texas' 10 largest network providers also tended to return to work faster than those who received non-network care.

The state's report noted that costs per claim increased 41% during a two-year period for non-network care, while costs increased 27% for network providers during that time.

The results were based on care provided between June 2009 and May 2010 to workers who had been injured six months prior.

The report is available at