In local news:

The latest WCRI CompScope Medical Benchmarks for Louisiana indicates that medical payments per claim are stable. WCRI notes that the growth in costs slowed from 2011 to 2013, according to its data. The organization attributes that change primarily to decreases in utilization of hospital and non-hospital care. Among the other major findings: hospital outpatient payments per service grew one percent per year from 2011 to 2013, after increasing 12 percent per year from 2008 to 2011. This significantly lower increase is in line with WCRI’s median state. Further, utilization of medical care decreased from 2011 to 2013 for both hospital outpatient and non-hospital providers, largely due to fewer visits per claim. Researchers for WCRI mention that the Medical Treatment Guidelines’ arrival in 2011 may have caused the decrease in utilization and lowered costs, but they did not study that issue directly. The study analyzed claims with experience through 2014 on injuries that occurred in 2013 and prior. WCRI compares states by using its data set from 16 states to create a median for a variety of cost and utilization measurements.

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