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Texas' workers comp costs drop with reform, medical management: WCRI

Texas' workers comp costs drop with reform, medical management: WCRI

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Legislative reforms and management of medical care decreased the cost of workers compensation health care in Texas, the Cambridge, Mass.-based Workers Compensation Research Institute said in an analysis.

The WCRI said it found that the cost per claim in Texas workers comp medical payments now is lower than the median for 16 states examined in its study, “Monitoring the Impact of Reforms in Texas, CompScope Medical Benchmarks, 12th Edition.”

Prior to the passage of workers comp reforms in 2001 and 2005, Texas had the highest and fastest growing medical payment compared with other study states, the WCRI said Monday in a statement.

A significant decrease in medical care provided by “nonhospital providers” accounted for much of the decline in the medical cost per claim, the WCRI found. Nonhospital providers include chiropractors, physical therapists and occupational therapists.

However, utilization of those nonhospital providers appears to have stabilized. That may indicate there will be little additional impact from the Texas reforms that focused on service utilization, the WCRI said.