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.


* Question of the day
* Today's number: $500 million
* Because... Madigan
* Illinois Credit Unions – Stepping Up from all Corners of the State
* Primaries can be good things
* Cullerton will call pay raise rollback bill
* Trained cops willing to be patient
* AFSCME denounces Rauner veto
* About that PPP poll
* GOP tries to clean up Gidwitz's mess
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Exelon turns up the heat a little
* Mrs. Rauner's group joins "formal complaint," request for investigation
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Tom Cullerton drops out
* Car rental vendor cuts off state
* 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

          
        * 10 cleverest Lumia shots of July
        * Nvidia rolls out Android 5.1.1 update to the Shield Tablet
        * More than 1 million people are on the OnePlus 2’s reservation list
        * Captain Sabertooth celebrates 25th year, releases mobile game for Android
        * Two Alcatel ONETOUCH devices now available on Boost Mobile
        * Meizu M2 is a mid-range smartphone steal at less than $100
        * Facebook Fuels Ad Tracking By Nagging App Users To Instantly Log In On Safari

        * White Sox winning streak stalls at seven
        * Short of perfect, White Sox happy with trip
        * Red Sox 8, White Sox 2: Wright guy beats right guy
        * Rodon gets first look at Yankees in series opener
        * White Sox winning streak stalls at seven
        * White Sox get Sellers from Bucs
        * White Sox opened winning gateway in St. Louis

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


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

        Archives
        July 2015
        June 2015
        May 2015
        April 2015
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        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


        * Blagojevich attorney says he'll ask full court for rehearing
        * Jenner Olympic Torch fetches $24,000 at auction
        * After raising taxes, Cook County seeks raises for workers
        * Indiana convention's CEO calls for broader LGBT protections
        * Ex-US Rep. Reynolds scrambles to meet bond conditions
        * Man on trial in killing of Chicago police officer testifies
        * Police detain man who left backpack near Obama Chicago home
        * Law would let O'Hare keep runways to disperse traffic, noise
        * Driver of church bus that crashed faces homicide charge
        * Mel Reynolds searches for place to stay to get bond

        * Illinois' health insurance co-op among those struggling
        * Court ruling helps some child care providers amid ongoing state budget impasse
        * Rauner, AFSCME reach another contract extension; governor vetoes bill to prohibit strike, lockout
        * Court ruling helps some child care providers
        * Private employers now can give hiring preference to veterans after Rauner signs law
        * Private employers now can give hiring preference to veterans
        * Illinois House votes to reject pay raise; Senate vote expected next week
        * Statewide tourism numbers up, although most Springfield historic sites see decline in visitors
        * Rauner signs bill broadening eligibility for food stamps
        * Statewide tourism numbers up, although most Springfield historic sites seeing decline in visitors

        * What are Rush's plans for Malcolm X College site?
        * Indiana convention's CEO calls for broader LGBT protections
        * HCSC chief Hemingway Hall is retiring
        * HCSC chief Hall is retiring
        * After boosting the sales tax, Preckwinkle now wants $130 million in pay hikes


          * South, North and West side shootings leave 6 wounded
          * Blagojevich's lawyers to ask full court to rule on appeal
          * Executive, daughter on college trip killed in Milwaukee plane crash
          * Oak Forest alderman resigns amid $18,000 spending flap
          * Gary church bus driver charged in fatal wreck
          * Bizarre scene unfolds at cop killing trial as defendant takes stand
          * Local cardiologist testifies about Hines VA Hospital at Senate hearing
          * Evanston police investigate shooting of two
          * Emanuel looks to borrow another $500M but stays mum on specifics
          * Police: Man given second chance is killed while trying to rob man


          * E.J. Dionne: The price Boehner pays
          * Charles Steele, Jr.: EPA putting affordable energy in jeopardy
          * Illinois' health insurance co-op among those struggling
          * Catherine Rampell: One job government does better
          * Tom Kiernan: Wind could power Illinois' economic future
          * George Will: With Iran deal, Obama makes bad history
          * Court ruling helps some child care providers amid ongoing state budget impasse
          * Rauner, AFSCME reach another contract extension; governor vetoes bill to prohibit strike, lockout
          * Private employers now can give hiring preference to veterans after Rauner signs law
          * Bill McGee: Massacres of black Americans nothing new


          * Summer Start: Bulldogs roll on amid changes
          * Central's Hayasaki triumphs in junior event
          * Danielson slips into Pacific Coast top 10
          * Media Days notebook: Dudek quickly on mend
          * Allegation questions surround Illini players
          * Asmussen: Beckman deflects questions like a pro
          * Villa Grove board tabs former Chrisman, Oakland superintendent Tracy to replace Manos
          * Carle seeks $28.5 million expansion of Curtis Road facility
          * Sports Talk 07-30-15
          * LIVE! Big Ten Media Days 2015


          * Almaty, Beijing make final pitches for 2022 Winter Olympics
          * Hamels' trade to Rangers being finalized, expected Friday
          * Hamilton's game-ending hit gives Texas 7-6 win over Yankees
          * Rizzo helps Cubs beat Brewers 5-2
          * Kazakh PM: Almaty 'is not a risky choice' for 2022 Olympics

          * House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
          * Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
          * The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
          * Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
          * Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
          * CBD Oil, and politics
          * Simon considering state Senate bid
          * Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
          * Shutdown? State may not notice
          * Rep. Bob Dold

          * IL Senator urges EPA to protect towns alon......

          * Kirk resolution honors U of I prof's work ......

          * Good News For Sprint Customers
          * Saturday 9AM Deadline For Votes on Residential Permit Parking
          * “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
          * Judge Rules Red Light Cam Lawsuit Can Proceed…For Now
          * Some High Schools Serving Uptown To Have New School Hours This Year
          * Somebody somewhere REALLY doesn’t think much of Mel Reynolds
          * Film Noir
          * Ex-Congressman Mel Reynolds In Need Of Housing
          * Temporary Resolution Reached Over Possible Contempt Charge Against Schock
          * Where's Weyermuller? With Governor Scott Walker in Chicago


          * Safety Belt Use in Illinois Reaches 95.2 Percent - Drivers and front seat passengers are buckling up more than ever before in Illinois
          * Governor Takes Bill Action
          * IDOT Seeks Ownership of Arsenal Road in Will County - Walter Strawn Hearing Request Withdrawn, Work on Long-Term Solutions Continues
          * Governor Rauner Signs Veteran Preference Bill
          * Governor's Office Statement on Passage of HB 576




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