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Reform measures and fee schedule changes are resulting in an overall trend of lower medical costs per claim in several states, according to several Workers Compensation Research Institute reports released Thursday.
In its 19th year of studying medical costs, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based institute released 16 reports, all including a state-by-state comparison of medical costs across 18 states. The reports show varying results, with most states having adopted changes to fee schedules in recent years and most states showing decreases in amount paid for medical care as a result.
The 18 states in the study are Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. There are individual reports for every state except Arkansas and Iowa.
The reports also ranked states according to medical payments per claim in 2017, with Wisconsin, Virginia and Indiana showing the highest costs with costs-per-claim averaging just below $20,000. States with the lowest costs—Massachusetts, California, and Michigan—averaged between $5,000 and $10,00 in medical payments per claim.
Other conclusions include: