Study Reveals Key Workers Compensation Indicators
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) recently released data from the first phase in a study it’s conducting for insurers and healthcare providers to gain a better understanding of some of the factors that drive the workers compensation market in various states. The study includes four phases and measures five specific worker outcomes: recovery of physical health and functioning, return to work, earnings recovery, access to medical care, and satisfaction with medical care.
The first phase was based on telephone interviews with 3,200 injured workers across eight states. The eight states are Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Interviews were conducted with workers who suffered a work place injury in 2010 and received Worker’s Compensation income benefits. The surveys were conducted during February through June 2013—on average, about three years after these workers sustained their injuries.
The data by the WCRI presents aspects of Workers Compensation that could help reveal the areas where there may be the most opportunity to improve processes such as return to work, designing disability benefit structures, and improving claims criteria. The major predictors covered in these studies include the severity and type of injury; unrelated health conditions (pre-existing health status, chronic illness, smoking history, prior injuries) that might impact a current injury; worker characteristics, including age, sex, education, language, marital status and job history; work environment, including wage, job tenure, job satisfaction, trust in employer, full time or part time, hourly or salaried; labor market conditions, such as local urbanization and unemployment rate.
Here are the WCRI’s survey findings as it relates to the state of Indiana, to get an idea of the type of information revealed:
- Average age of workers at time of injury: 48
- Respondents who were 55 years or older: 30%
- Respondents who are female: 39%
- Workers with no education beyond a high school diploma: 56%
- Workers who elected to be interviewed in Spanish: 3%
- Workers earning less than $500/week: 35%
- Workers with one of the aforementioned labor market disadvantages: 47%
- Workers with two or three of the aforementioned labor market disadvantages: 23%
- Injuries caused by sprains, strains and fractures: 51%
- Injuries caused by lacerations/contusions: 8%
- Injuries caused by inflammations, spine pain or carpal tunnel: 16%
- Injuries caused by other type: 26%
- Workers who felt their pre-injury health was above-average: 64%
- Workers who smoke: 56%
- Workers who smoked for 20+ years: 33%
- Workers with comorbidities (hypertension, diabetes, lung conditions, heart problems): 68%
- Workers with more than one comorbidity: 28%
- Workers with attorney representation: 8%
- Workers with prior WC claim for a separate injury within last two years before study: 7%
- Workers with subsequent WC claim in three years after study: 5%
- Workers who received PPD/lump sum within two years of injury: 30%
- Average amount of PPD/lump sum: $7,225
- Workers in service industries: 43%
- Workers in manufacturing: 32%
- Workers in retail/wholesale trade: 11%
- Workers satisfied with their jobs: 78%
- Workers with one year or less with at-injury employer: 25%
- Workers with 10+ years with at-injury employer: 30%
- Workers fearful of losing their jobs after injury: 39%
- Workers living in metropolitan labor markets: 64%
- Average unemployment rate in county of residence at time of reported injury: 10.8%
- Workers living in counties with 11%-13% unemployment rate at time of injury: 32%
- Workers living in counties with 13%+ unemployment rate at time of injury: 11%
You can see, for example, that those in the service industries topped the percentage of claims filed and that most employees stated that they were satisfied with the job. You can also see that workers with other existing conditions, such as heart problems, represented 78% of those filing comp claims. The majority of injuries were caused by sprains, strains and fractures.
Caitlin Morgan provides a broad range of workers compensation solutions including guaranteed cost Worker’s Compensation, large deductible programs and self-insurance plans. In addition, we offer an Indiana Nursing Home Group Workers’ Compensation Plan with several key features and benefits. Give us a call at 877.226.1027 to discuss alternative cost-effective solutions for Worker’s Compensation.
Sources: WCRI, Property/Casualty 360