The recently released WCRI study The Effects of Provider Choice Policies on Workers’ Compensation Costs provides updated evidence regarding the relationships between medical and indemnity costs and statutes concerning control of the choice of provider. Key findings included:
- There was little evidence of differences in average costs between employer and employee choice states. This is especially true for medical costs, where average cost differences were near zero.
- There were significant differences across injury types. Policies that give workers the most control over the choice of provider were associated with higher medical and indemnity costs among the small share of the most expensive back-related injuries and, more generally, higher indemnity costs for the costliest cases overall.
WCRI concludes that these data then do not suggest restricting provider choice, but rather, provide support for attempting to limit the incidence of of high cost injuries in the first place.
Purchase a copy of the study here.