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Injured workers in Texas see doctors more quickly

Injured workers in Texas see doctors more quickly

Injured workers in Texas have better access to physicians than they did 15 years ago, according to a recent study by the Texas Department of Insurance Research and Evaluation Group. 

The study, conducted by the Austin, Texas-based group in September by examining claims data from 2000 to 2015, aimed to measure the effectiveness of the state’s workers compensation system since 2000. It found that 84% of injured workers received initial care in seven days or less in 2015, compared with 76% in 2000. 

It also found that injured workers who aren’t treated within seven days cost an average of about 40% more in medical costs over the first six months of an injury. In 2015, about half of injured workers saw a physician in one day or less with the average wait being 4.5 days, according to the study.

“That’s significant because improved timeliness means workers have a much better chance of getting back to work, and the cost for their care will be much lower,” Texas Workers Compensation Commissioner Ryan Brannan said in a statement released Friday. 

The report also looked at the number of physicians in Texas who treat injured workers. That figure increased 6% from 2000 to 2015, according to the study. During that same period, there was an 11% decline in the number of workers’ compensation claims filed, the study found.

Of the specialties handling workers comp claims, the study found the specialty with the most physicians was orthopedic surgery in 2000. However, since 2002, combined radiology and pathology has been the most common specialty.









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