SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Apparently, it didn’t work as advertised

Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013

* Workers’ comp reforms two years ago have succeeded in driving down some costs, but overall costs have barely moved. Oy

Medical payments for workers’ compensation claims dropped only 4.6 percent in Illinois last year even though the General Assembly reduced the maximum fees for workers’ compensation-related office visits, surgery and other treatments by 30 percent in 2011 (see the PDF). That’s according to a study of 16 states by the Workers Compensation Research Institute, an insurance industry-funded think tank in Cambridge, Mass. The states were selected to represent the high, middle and low end of the cost spectrum.

Medical fees actually fell 24 percent last year, according to the study, as some providers already were charging less than the maximum amount allowed by law. But those savings largely were offset by greater use of medical services and increased spending on litigation over medical claims, second opinions by company doctors and other measures to control medical costs.

As a result, total payments per claim were down just 1 percent.

* And this is just depressing

While the study addressed only costs per claim, Illinois is well below average in the number of claims per 1,000 workers, in part because of high unemployment in construction and manufacturing, which tend to have more injuries.

Sheesh.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


19 Comments
  1. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 10:10 am:

    Surprise, surprise. Gov’t reform that doesn’t reform. Whodathunk that could possibly happen?

    Can we expect similar results with pension reform?


  2. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 10:13 am:

    ==those savings were largely offset by greater use of medical services and increased spending on litigation over medical claims, second opinions by company doctors, and other measures to control medical costs==

    unbelievable!

    It appears that the cost-savings provided by new legislation, are being eaten up primarily by employers’ increased efforts to discredit claims.

    I hope this is a temporary phase of habitual behavior, and the true cost savings will be realized by the companies.


  3. - phocion - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 10:16 am:

    walkinfool…so employers who put up a defense to bogus claims are at fault? Yes, let’s just admit every claim that comes in and see what that does to costs. Until causation is put into legislation, no meaningful savings will be achieved.


  4. - Bill White - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    The implementation of universal health care should allow medical costs to be shifted away from the workers comp carriers and that should significantly reduce premiums:

    === Hard-fought reforms enacted two years ago have brought down the fees that doctors and hospitals can charge for treating injured workers, but Illinois workers’ compensation costs remain sky high. ===

    If the workers comp insurers were relieved of the burden of paying medical bills — because EVERYONE is covered by mandatory health insurance — the cost of coverage should plummet.


  5. - Nonplussed - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    So, with the fall in claims due to the recession, the plaintiff’s industry tried to milk more $ out of the system with more medical services and insurers fight back with more second opinions, etc. Everyone with their fingers in the till saw to it that they all kept getting their money.


  6. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 10:29 am:

    =the cost of coverage should plummet=
    Actually the workers comp insurers profit margins will increase.


  7. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 10:48 am:

    Let’s remember that some members of the “plaintiff’s industry” are also members of Congress. These folks worked hard to make sure that any reform (there’s that word again) of the health care industry didn’t include any limits on payouts, etc. That contributes to tendency on the part of doctors to overuse expensive diagnostic procedures in order to limit liability and are a factor in the high cost of health care.


  8. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 10:52 am:

    phocion - With causation, there will be even more attorneys and litigation regarding that issue. Lawyers would be the ultimate winners.


  9. - phocion - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 10:58 am:

    Anon, No. With causation injuries that were not caused by a workplace related injury would be thrown out. The lawyers fees are not as big a driver in costs as are payments to employees for time off.


  10. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 11:12 am:

    The medical costs have not dropped by 30% because of provisions in the “reform” Act mandating AMA standards be used. So everyone is spending extra money getting doctors to give this opinion. Included as well is an increase in spending in having doctors review medical records and files and giving their opinions. By the time all those extra costs are factored in, including constant analysis of medical bills as they are pushed through a medical fee schedule, and the savings in the “reform” bill become diminished. The IWCC has now announced the fee schedule amounts of medical bills to be awarded have been slightly increased as well. This too should be no shock as it is part of the Act.

    I popped off and complained loudly that this “reform” bill didn’t reform much of anything, other than scapegoating a bunch of Arbitrators who were forced to follow the law in issuing decisions. Maybe it is time to ask those hearing officers what the problems are in the Act and how to fix them?


  11. - cod - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    This report is highly suspect, in that it essentially demands more “reform”. The think tank mission statement smells of the Koch bros.

    http://www.wcrinet.org/about.html

    I would expect the 1% strategy includes significant further “reform”, ie cuts, of workers comp insurance. After pensions are slashed by $138b, and health insurance is cut, the next logical step is to do away with workers comp.

    The 1% strategy, a sort of informal conspiracy of self-interest, is incremental, slashing benefits bit by bit. Brutal and pitiless, yes, but effective in destroying the need for the dreaded progressive tax that would primarily hit up the super-wealthy.


  12. - Shark Sandwich - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:05 pm:

    “The implementation of universal health care should allow medical costs to be shifted away from the workers comp carriers and that should significantly reduce premiums..”

    Unless I missed a change in the laws, I don’t see how that helps. A Work Comp claim will be rejected by your main insurer and turned back to the employer’s WC insurer.


  13. - Chi - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:15 pm:

    Fees fell 24%- and this is coming from a study funded by insurance companies. You can’t blame the law, or the worker, for an increase in litigation costs or second opinions sought by the employer. Sure, the employer has every right to make sure a claim is legitimate. But it’s their cost/benefit analysis that sends someone to get a second opinion by a company doctor. Can’t have your cake and eat it too.


  14. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:53 pm:

    ==- phocion - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 10:16 am:==

    You have no idea what the statistics for “bogus” versus legitimate claims are. No one is arguing that companies should not go after “bogus” claims. However, there was nothing preventing them from litigating “bogus” claims before.


  15. - Bill White - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:37 pm:

    “The implementation of universal health care should allow medical costs to be shifted away from the workers comp carriers and that should significantly reduce premiums..”

    Unless I missed a change in the laws, I don’t see how that helps. A Work Comp claim will be rejected by your main insurer and turned back to the employer’s WC insurer.

    ===

    My point is that the law could and should be changed. If medical bills are covered via universal healthcare (i.e. Medicare for everyone) there is no need for the WC insurer to have any responsibility for paying those medical bills.

    A state level single payer health care system would relieve WC insurers of the obligation to pay medical bills.


  16. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 4:42 pm:

    It’s not going to work until they address Causation. Also, Indiana (which is already 2 - 3 times lower than us on workers comp costs) is trying to reduce there’s another 10%. This might not affect Chicago as much, but it really hurts “downstate” and the Rockford area as far as jobs competitiveness.


  17. - 4 percent - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 4:43 pm:

    If you look at the report, the biggest cost drivers are chiropractors and physical therapists


  18. - Juvenal - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 9:08 pm:

    Not true, Ahoy.

    If Illinois workers were paid as poorly as workers in Indiana, it would also reduce worker’s comp costs, since lost wages are the biggest driver of work comp costs.


  19. - carriergirl - Thursday, Oct 24, 13 @ 9:18 am:

    Please keep in mind that Defense Legal Costs are allocated expenses and are not generally part of the formula for evaluating premium and this is generally absorbed by the insurance carriers and cuts into their profit. In addition, there are few states at this time even track the allocated loss on files.

    Medical cost containment/management is needed. Why should a chiropractor be able to treat somebody with a fracture or a person with a serious disc herniation that needs surgery? It is interesting that the same injury in a non-workers compensation venue has less overall treatment, lost time from work, and recovery.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* We interrupt this break for a special announcement...
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Afternoon updates
* Stop the satellite TV tax!
* *** UPDATED 1x *** Twitter suspends parody account @peoriamayor
* Lesson learned: Don't 'Leave'
* Fitch affirms Illinois GO Bond rating
* BGA: Rauner firm holds state contracts; political round-up
* Question of the Day
* CAPTION CONTEST!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * #Love: I’m Single, Therefore I Tinder
        * Hands On With Facebook Nearby Friends [Video]: No More Checkins
        * In Digital Health, Does Nike Have A Path To Victory After Fuelband?
        * Android Community Weekly Wrap-Up for April 19, 2014
        * Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition: first impressions on a revived classic
        * Hands On With Facebook's Nearby Friends
        * Our favourite 5 new Windows Phone apps of the week

        * Notification Toggle Adds Settings and App to Android's Pulldown Bar
        * Use a Moist Towel to Make Perfect Oven-Baked Eggs
        * Some More Concept Renders of the Larger iPhone 6
        * Braven BRV-X Ultra-Rugged Bluetooth Speaker Review
        * 6 Environmentally Friendly Gadgets for Earth Day
        * Front Panel of Next Generation iPad Air Leaked
        * Facebook Paper for iPhone Receives a Big Update

        * Dunn unimpressed with .304 batting average
        * Beckham close, but not back
        * Danks wants to be less wild but equally effective
        * Webb ready for action
        * This Week in White Sox Minor League Baseball
        * Adam Eaton flirts with death, then strains hamstring
        * Prospect Johnson proving 2013 wasn't a fluke


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Casino bill must include Chicago — and safeguards..
        * US Sen. Durbin says he's taking Oberweis seriously..
        * FEMA’s disaster decisions frustrate state, loca.....
        * District 300 set to pilot new teacher evaluations..
        * Groups sue to stop Illiana Tollway..


        * Former death row inmate details difficulties
        * Cardinal: Could be last Easter as archbishop
        * Police: 6 people injured in Easter party shooting
        * Video gambling exclusion list prompts questions
        * Chicagoan to run 35th straight Boston Marathon
        * Authorities: Newborn baby found in plastic bag
        * Lawyer: No more appeals for Crundwell
        * Downtown Belleville fountain damaged by car crash
        * Chicagoan to run 35th straight Boston Marathon
        * US Sen. Durbin says he's taking Oberweis seriously

        * Addiction experts: Illinois budget cuts could hurt drug treatment
        * Comptroller Topinka reports $125K in income
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Durbin, Oberweis spar over earmarks, minimum wage
        * Statehouse Insider: It doesn’t always add up in the General Assembly
        * Chicago casino plan draws more support at legislative hearing
        * Video gaming may get its own exclusion list
        * U of I officials seeking to prevent retirement rush
        * U of I asks state legislators to prevent retirement rush; could affect 200 at UIS
        * 2015 tax rates still far from settled
        * Strip club tax brings in much less than expected

        * Census: People are leaving all six Chicago-area counties
        * Trixie and Chad have kids!
        * Quinn administration funds Diana Rauner's nonprofit
        * Why Lenovo's Moto bid is looking smarter
        * Ignoring Shakespeare's butcher, law firm advises how to cut legal bills


        * Truck crashes into Greater Grand Crossing store; five people injured
        * Cardinal celebrates what may be ‘last Easter’ leading Chicago flock
        * Casino bill must include  Chicago — and safeguards
        * In violent weekend, at least 7 dead, 25 wounded in shootings across Chicago
        * Newborn boy found dead in Northwest Side gangway
        * Husband, wife — both officers — dead in murder-suicide: police
        * Newborn found dead in Northwest Side gangway
        * Six shot at Easter party in suburban Montgomery


        * 'Nothing is ever without hope,' ailing George tells Catholics on Easter
        * Man held on $1 million bail in Friday shooting
        * 2 dead, 4 others wounded in separate city shootings
        * FBI looks for duo who robbed Austin neighborhood bank
        * Police: Husband and wife -- both officers -- dead in murder-suicide
        * Man critically injured in crash involving motorcycle, semi
        * Geneva woman killed in motorcycle accident in Kane County
        * 6 wounded in shooting at Easter party in Montgomery
        * Cops: 5 dead, 13 others injured in shootings


        * Illinois Finally Gets 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver
        * U Of I: Illinois Pension Overhaul Had Costly Mistake
        * Fish fry dinners bring food, community to Catholics during Lent
        * Listen To State Week - April 18, 2014
        * Murray Center Advocates Win Appeals Decision
        * Employment Improves, But Illinois Still Lags U.S.
        * Nine Illinois lawmakers vote to fund Obama library - but only five members in attendance
        * WBEZ's Student Stories
        * Interview: John Tinker & The Landmark Case On Students' Right To Free Speech
        * State Legislation Hints At Marijuana Legalization


        * Our Opinion: Don’t drag feet on drone regulation
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Durbin, Oberweis spar over earmarks, minimum wage
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Durbin, Oberweis spar over earmarks, minimum wage
        * Statehouse Insider: It doesn’t always add up in the General Assembly
        * Statehouse Insider: It doesn’t always add up in the General Assembly
        * Armenta L. Johnson: Advocate for quality education to avoid segregation
        * Catherine Walters: Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault notes anniversary, awareness month
        * Video gaming may get its own exclusion list
        * U of I asks state legislators to prevent retirement rush; could affect 200 at UIS
        * Quinn grants 43 clemency requests


        * This week's lane restrictions
        * An Easter tradition
        * Road, bridge projects get $7.7 million
        * Beware of Nipper shaker knockoffs
        * Wichita State run-rules SIU baseball 11-1
        * Local students selected as marshals for MBU commencment
        * Talk explains growing up in Moline 100 years ago
        * UI Tennis vs. Wisconsin
        * Library to host poetry reception
        * Cheverlot to host test drive fundraiser


        * The 10th District money race
        * Aurora Democrat calls out IHSA
        * Lawyers: Ill. hazing law vague, unconstitutional
        * Ill. House OKs lower-cost hunting bill for seniors
        * Quinn’s running mate takes new consulting job

        * When Punishment Is Torture: An Open Letter...
        * Jesse Jackson Jr. placed in solitary confi...
        * Jesse Jackson Jr. Transferred To Alabama P...
        * Jesse Jackson Jr. sent to solitary then tr...
        * Jesse Jackson Jr. Maneuvers Himself Into M...
        * Jesse Jackson Jr. Changes Prisons, Could B...
        * Jesse Jackson Jr Moved to Alabama Prison C...
        * Inmates Sent To Solitary Confinement For H...
        * Jesse Jackson Jr. transferred to minimum s...
        * Jesse Jackson Jr. moved to another prison ...

        * Loading Koch Industries Website Too Many T......
        * Maryland and DC among worst for food aller......
        * Cleveland State University to reestablish ......
        * Convicted political boss Al Sanchez runnin......
        * Candidates make last filings for local, st......

        * Illinois Lt. Gov. Simon opposes pension le......
        * Dillard Odd Man Out on Pension Deal Reaction...
        * Sen. Mark Kirk sides with Rauner on pensio......
        * Governor's race infighting threatens pensi......
        * SCHOONERS - Home of Everyone's Favorite Be......

        * Wishing Buehrle back on Sout’ Side
        * Chris Christie’s pension theft in New Jersey. Nation-wide pension theft needs a nation-wide response.
        * GTCR is Rauner’s Bain Capital. So Squeezy gives him a state contract. Shaking up Springfield?
        * Sunday book review section. This is Not a Test.
        * The Library of Congress Pkwy?
        * Sen. Mark Kirk pokes at Eric Holder: Did NSA spy on Congress?
        * Democratic National Committee Executive Committee meeting in Chicago June 8
        * Emily's List hits Chicago June 27: Sebelius, Lisa Madigan, Neely, Finney to speak
        * Feinstein, Chambliss defend phone data snooping to "keep the homeland safe." Durbin has concerns. UPDATED
        * President Obama official schedule and guidance June 6, 2013. North Carolina, California


        * Governor Quinn Announces Investments to Conserve Lake Michigan Shoreline - Visits Volunteer Beach Clean-up to Announce Investments That Will Support Environmental Education and Stewardship Projects
        * Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
        * Proposed Rules for Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act Filed
        * Adopt-A-Highway Spring Cleanup Begins Today - Annual Event Honors Earth Day, Tackles Roadside Litter After Harsh Winter
        * Illinois Schools Win No Child Left Behind Waiver - Federal Government Approves Flexibility Needed for Successful Implementation of State Strategies to Improve Student Learning




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller