WCRI finds Delaware law cuts employee health care costs by 33%

WCRI finds Delaware law cuts employee health care costs by 33%

A new study shows that Delaware’s 2014 workers’ compensation law has reduced the cost of paying workers’ medical claims.

A report from the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) states that the average medical payment per claim fell by about 33 percent between 2014 and 2017 in Delaware, which was the primary target of House Bill (HB) 373.

The Delaware Workers’ Compensation Trends 2015-2020 study looks at total claims costs, medical benefits, damages, length of disability, benefit costs, timeliness of workers’ benefits, and other metrics. It analyzes how these system performance metrics have changed from 2015 to 2020 with payments made up to March 2021.

The report also discusses the impact of COVID-19 on workers’ compensation claims in the early months of the pandemic in 2020.

Among the results of the study are the following:

  • Total costs per claim continued to decline after 2017 following a series of cuts in the medical billing schedule (which were the focus of the 2014 legislation).
  • Claimed medical benefits decreased in 2020 due to usage, which may reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In 2015-2020, damages payments per claim were generally stable. In 2020, the wages of workers with injuries and long-term disability increased, which may reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Benefit costs per claim decreased overall by maturity in 2015-2020.

Data used for this report excludes COVID-19 claims for which the nature or cause of injury was COVID-19.

WCRI is an independent non-profit research organization.

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