Managing costs associated with workers’ compensation claims is an important issue for employers and their insurers. Employers who are able to minimize both the number and the cost of claims, through whatever means, are able to minimize their expenses when it comes to workplace injury.
Unfortunately for employers, the medical costs associated with workers’ compensation claims have increased in the last couple of years. According to new research by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute, medical payments per claim have increased 4.1 percent since 2013. The two-year increase follows a two-year decrease of 20 percent between 2010 and 2012, which was largely attributable to significant fee schedule rate reductions.
The increased costs over the last two years are on par with the national average and are largely tied to the increased costs of medical services. Still, employers are going to feel the pinch as every little bit counts. As costs fluctuate, of course, employers and their insurers have to come up with strategies to manage their expenses in this area, which can include changes to workers’ compensation process aimed at cost containment.
Whatever cost-containment strategies employers and their insurers come up with, it is important for employees to realize that they still have a right to workers’ compensation benefits and that employers and their insurers do not have a right to restrict an injured employee’s access to these benefits. In our next post, we’ll speak a bit more about this issue, and how working with an experienced attorney can help when an employee faces barriers to obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.