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.


* Reader comments closed until Monday
* The Pat Quinn rehab tour continues
* Question of the day
* IML, firefighters unite on "public duty rule"
* Nuclear Energy: Vital for Illinois’ Clean Power Plan Goals
* Tackling opioid overdoses
* Why didn't Hastert's secret come out sooner?
* A silly idea
* AG Madigan wants GA to eliminate statute of limitations for felony criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes against children
* Caption contest!
* A very weird and specific law applies only to one county clerk
* Today's quotable
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* 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

  
* Sony wants a patent for a smart contact lens, as does Samsung
* Meizu MX6 is “a second half thing,” says Weibo
* Double tap to wake Lumia 950 may happen, many ask why it hasn’t already
* How Android gets to 100% market share
* LG puts the fingerprint sensor under the glass
* Huawei G9 looks to breeze in on May 4
* BlackBerry Rome and Hamburg leaks were stolen renders

* Sale in aisle 6: Sox lefty leads MLB in wins
* Lawrie sparks Sox to strong finish to road trip
* Battle of Sox to begin with Quintana-Wright
* White Sox 7, Orioles 1: Sale salvages series split
* Six-pack for Sale: Lefty tops O's, leads MLB
* Sale in aisle 6: Sox lefty leads MLB in wins
* White Sox enjoy best-case April

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


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

Archives
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
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


* Letter: Gov. Rauner, enough is enough - The Sta.....
* CTU: Teachers leaning away from May strike..
* Illinois law makers consider allowing all colle.....
* No electricity for 3 state parks until Illinois.....
* Good news is bad news in Bruce Rauner's view - .....
* Chicago Democrat’s law firm helps Trump hotel g.....
* CPS CEO Claypool speaks out against Rauner cuts..
* CPS CEO Claypool speaks out against Rauner cuts.....
* CPS CEO Claypool speaks out against Rauner cuts.....


* City announces plans for Navy Pier hotel
* Races back on at Arlington Park after legal dispute resolved
* Chicago Democrat's law firm helps Trump hotel get tax breaks
* Illinois man crushed by garbage dies in landfill accident
* Lacrosse championships coming after team benchmarks met
* Champaign police officer waives jury in sex assault case
* Offer to restore power at shuttered state park rejected
* For some, Chicago State a flawed but final shot at a degree
* U of Illinois reaches agreement with non-tenured faculty
* Disbarred Naperville attorney gets 4-plus years for scheme

* For some, Chicago State University offers hope
* For some, Chicago State a flawed but final shot at a degree
* Constitutional amendments face a deadline this week
* Local groups counting on stopgap funding plan
* Local groups serving autistic children, others counting on stopgap state funding plan
* Constitutional amendments face a deadline this week at Statehouse
* Normal's Mitsubishi plant sold to liquidation firm
* Director of George W. Bush museum appointed to lead Lincoln museum in Springfield
* Swastikas, noose lead U of I to call for tolerance
* Illinois weighs college aid for students in U.S. illegally

* Navy Pier to get 200-guest, $90 million hotel project
* Navy Pier to get 200-room, $90 million hotel project
* A challenging climate for Chicago entrepreneurs
* Does Acme make a Rauner-catching machine?
* You're not imagining it, techies: Investment and valuations are dropping


* Obama aims zingers at himself at final correspondents’ dinner
* Man shot in chest on West Side
* CPS teens drafted to perform on NFL Draft fashion show runway
* Bears part with two respected vets: Matt Slauson and Antrel Rolle
* Cubs’ loss to Braves does little to dampen their mood
* CPD officers fatally shoot 2 dogs, 3rd dies after mauling
* Jack Black surprises cast of Broadway’s ‘School of Rock’
* By-the-book ‘King and I’ at Lyric Opera lacks emotional intimacy
* Analysis: Patrick Finley’s thoughts on the Bears’ draft
* Woman shot in East Garfield Park


* May Day protesters call for workers' rights, immigration reform
* Campaign rumbles into Indiana with underdogs struggling
* Firefighters battle huge fire at New York City church
* Bears release veterans Matt Slauson, Antrel Rolle
* 6 children orphaned after both parents die 24 hours apart
* Couple of cold nights ahead this week
* Cubs show some fight in 10-inning loss to Braves
* Bears' draft takeaways: 1st-round moves show faith in Vic Fangio
* Man seriously wounded in West Garfield Park shooting
* Brett Lawrie's 3rd homer in 3 games sparks White Sox offense


* Todd Maisch and Michael Kleinik: Illinois must get serious about transportation needs
* For some, Chicago State University offers hope
* For some, Chicago State a flawed but final shot at a degree
* Madigan on phone for county fundraiser
* Time for lawmakers to hunker down at the Capitol
* Our View: Keep focus, momentum moving on rail consolidation
* Angie Muhs: Meet the newest reader advisory board
* Constitutional amendments face a deadline this week
* Local groups counting on stopgap funding plan
* Local groups serving autistic children, others counting on stopgap state funding plan


* Nobody hurt in maintenance garage fire in Champaign
* 2016 Illinois Marathon: Half-Marathon Race Cam
* UI non-tenure-track faculty vote unanimously to call off strike
* Illini all-star team of investors buys Jarling's Custard Cup
* Jarling's Custard Cup sold; to reopen in one week
* Central Illinois Daily Life: May 2016
* Arrest made in connection with Danville murder
* UI Minnesota Baseball
* UI, faculty union reach tentative five-year contract
* West of Staley


* Previewing the NBA's second-round playoff series in the East
* Red Stars win second straight game
* Elephants perform for final time at Ringling Bros.
* Beachem says he'll be back at Notre Dame for senior season
* Batavia celebrates tradition, community with Loyalty Day Parade

* 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

* Cahokia Mounds Could Become National Monum......

* Kirk Urges Swift Passage of His Bill to Co......

* Hoosier-land a haven for people who want the triviality of electoral politics
* Library Patrons, Take Note
* The obliteration of the least empowered and the most marginalized of our citizens. “Do unto others” was not a suggestion; it was a command.
* We get letters.
* Howdy, Neighbor: Columnist Mark Brown Makes A Move
* Dan Mihalopoulos doesn’t get it. Good night.
* May Day pics, posts and tweets.
* Discover Clarendon Avenue With A Free Walking Tour Next Saturday
* The impact of the ESSA 1% cap on students of color.
* May Day in Brooklyn.


* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact




Hosted by MCS -- CapitolFax.com Privacy Policy -- SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax -- Advertise Here -- Mobile Version -- Contact Rich Miller