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Medical networks in the Texas workers compensation system continue to have a positive effect on patient outcomes and costs, according to the Texas Division of Workers Compensation’s 2019 Network Report Card released Tuesday.
Texas authorized the use of certified workers compensation health care networks in 2005; 30 networks have been certified since 2006, and more than a million injured workers have been treated in network since its formation.
The report card revealed that nearly half of all new workers compensation claims are now treated in networks, compared with 20% in 2010, and that the percentage of network injured employees who went back to work after their injury increased to 94% in 2019, an increase of seven percentage points since 2011. The return-to-work rate for non-network injured employees has remained relatively steady at 90% for the same time frame.
Comp health care networks also saw higher physical functioning scores among their injured employees than non-network providers, and most network patients had better or equal mental functioning scores as well, according to the report.
Other key findings from the report include:
Medical cost, utilization of care and administrative access to care measures were calculated using the division’s medical billing and payment database. Access to care, satisfaction with care, return-to-work and health outcomes measures were calculated using the results of an injured employee survey conducted by the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University.
Total workers compensation health care costs in Texas in 2017 were $1.01 billion, slightly down from $1.06 billion in 2016, according to a report issued Friday by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation.