Today’s post was shared by Workers Compensation and comes from www.propertycasualty360.com
Today’s Workers’ Compensation market is generally favorable, but several emerging medical and demographic challenges have the potential to upset the current balance. By better understanding the possible impact of these new variables on the market, buyers and brokers will be able to continue to protect employees—and their bottom lines.
1. The Affordable Care Act may well increase WC costs by increasing demand for medical services from a fixed number of providers. If more Americans can buy medical services, the cost of those services will rise. Beyond higher prices, greater demand will also lead to longer treatment and recovery times as claimants wait to get appointments, potentially impacting indemnity costs.
2. The growing use of—and cost for—physical therapy causes challenges. Fee schedules for physical therapy have increased over the past two years in nine states that have the greatest use of PT in WC claims. California increased its fee schedule for all physical therapy billing codes by 5% to 6% in March, while New Jersey upped its schedule by 3.6% last fall. Managing the utilization and cost of physical therapy is becoming a key issue, so much so that clients, prospects and brokers are asking TPAs more questions about their strategies in this area.
3. The variability of WC costs and treatments among states threatens the market. There is no reason why the cost for treating the same type of work-related injury should differ…