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States without fee schedules for professional services paid significantly higher prices than states with fee schedules, according to a report released Tuesday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.
In its most recent Medical Price Index for Workers Compensation, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based WCRI revealed that prices paid for similar professional services varied significantly across its 36 study states, from 29% below the median in Florida to 167% above the median in Wisconsin in 2020.
Researchers analyzed the costs of services including evaluation and management, physical medicine, surgery, major and minor radiology, neurological testing, pain management injections and emergency care billed by medical professionals from 2008 through 2020 in the study states.
While prices grew in states with fee schedules by a median of 9% over those 12 years, states with no fee schedules experienced a median price growth rate of 37% during that same period. The state without fee schedules also paid 44% to 170% more than the median of study states with fee schedules in 2020, according to the report.
Researchers also found that eight study states — Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia — experienced substantial changes in overall prices paid following a major fee schedule change during the study period.
The other states involved in the study include Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee.
States with no workers compensation fee schedule pay higher prices for professional services, though prices vary significantly across the U.S., according to researchers from the Workers Compensation Research Institute’s medical price index study released Tuesday.