Medical Spend on the Decline in Illinois According to WCRI

IllinoisFightingIlliniWCRI is reporting that the cost to care for an injured worker in the state of Illinois is declining thanks in part to some regulatory changes that were enacted back in 2011.

Benchmarks for Illinois, CompScope 14th Edition is the study that found that medical payments per claims with more than seven days of lost time in it have decreased by 5% in 2011.  Most likely this is due the 30% reduction in fee schedule for services that is being seen.

Prices for all medical services has dropped such as doctor visits, surgeries, physical medicine, and radiology.  However other expenses such as bill review, case management, and UR increased 5% in 2011.

The reforms of 2011 also focused on wage replacement payments, by setting limits on the duration of certain benefits of temporary disability they could help to control these large cost drivers.

In 2011 temporary disability duration was at about 16 weeks, prior to 2011 we are looking at about 21 weeks which caused indemnity payments to increase.

WCRI also noted that because Illinois does not regulate IME’s, this became a major expense and were frequently used prior to the 2011 reforms. Illinois legal expense were growing faster than that of mostly any other state.

It looks like Illinois noted that they had issues within their comp system and took to the reforms to make a difference.  It sounds like they have some of the medical spend under control.  They still are getting hit hard within bill review and UR and these should be the areas that the state looks at next to see some decline in these areas.

Source: WCRI

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