Friday, March 30, 2012

California Workers’ Compensation Claim Grew Faster In Previous Years

According to a new study, a rapid growth in compensation cost per claim in California worker’s compensation system was seen in the previous years.

Between 2007 and 2009, compensation cost per claim, payments for lost wages, earning capacity, or permanent disability grew at a yearly rate of 7%. Said growth came after an enormous downfall of about 30% way back in 2002 to 2005.

In fact, compared to the average growth rate from 2005 to 2007, the recent growth in compensation cost per claim was more aggressive. The same also pointed out some influence of thee economic recessions in California. 

The study also noted that from 2007 to 2009, the average weekly earnings of injured wage earner in California slightly changed. It is actually lower than the 4% growth rate in the previous years as wage growth fell down during the recession period.

Meanwhile, the average duration of temporary disability benefits spiked up, possibly

The study also found out that since 2005, right after a significant decrease from the reforms in earlier years, the fast growth in medical payments per claim to injured wage earners in California, which is 8% per annually for claims with more than seven days of lost wages, continues. Furthermore, after 2005, medical payments per claim grew faster in all California regions.

Although the average medical payments per workers’ compensation claim in California grew, the interstate ranking of the state changed significantly due to the modifications, from being at the top of the 16 WCRI, study states previous reform to being lower than usual after-reform. 

Factors that were seen to be the major causes of the recent growth in medical payments per claim are as follows:

•    Increase in prices paid for office visits due to an increase in free schedule
•    Increase in payment per service for facilities associated with surgical procedures
•    Increase in prices for more complex office visits which occurs frequently
•    Increase in prices for services per visit for physical medicine

Over the course of the said study, medical related expenses per claim, as well as the other medical and legal expenses, continuously grow.

Workers’ compensation claim can be complicated and require strict devotion to workers’ compensation system’s rules and practices. As a result of which, a wage earner needs to hire a lawyer with a strong background in the field, like a Los Angeles attorney.