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Prices paid for workers compensation medical care were higher in states that lacked fee schedules in 2011 than states that have a fee schedule, according to a study that the Workers Compensation Research Institute released Thursday.
The study, "Medical Price Index for Workers’ Compensation, Fourth Edition” also found that prices increased more rapidly in states without fee schedules.
Six jurisdictions in WCRI’s 25-state study—Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, New Jersey, Virginia and Wisconsin—had no medical fee schedules as of 2011.
Medical services prices in Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, New Jersey and Virginia, for example, increased 32% to 38% from 2002 to 2011, compared with the median growth rate of 14% for a group of study states with fee schedules. Wisconsin’s prices increased 50% during the period, WCRI said.
“In documenting the growing prices paid for the medical care received by injured workers, this unique study also shows the effectiveness of medical fee schedules in controlling those costs," Richard Victor, executive director of the Cambridge, Mass.-based WCRI, said in a statement.