A recent workers’ comp study may have uncovered clues on how to trim healthcare costs in the U.S.
After poring over five years of claims data from the Louisiana Workers’ Comp Corp., a nonprofit mutual insurance company, researchers at John Hopkins School of Medicine found that only 3.7% of physicians accounted for 72% of workers’ comp costs in the state.
These physicians were termed cost-intensive providers (CIPs).
Sure, most of you already knew some workers “doctor shop” — when an injured employee seeks out a doctor whose diagnosis will extend comp benefits — but you probably didn’t know the effects were this bad.
Among the findings about CIPs:
- Their average claim total was more than four times higher than other docs ($46,000 v. $11,000)
- Their claims took more than twice as long to settle (697 days v. 278), and
- 31% of CIPs total claims costs were more than $50,000 compared to just 13% for other docs.
Note: The majority of CIPs incurring high costs were involved in pain management.
The study was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.