The Workers Compensation Research Institute recently published results from a study reviewing the costs of medical treatment for workers’ compensation injuries in various states. Ultimately, the study aims to reduce cost without impacting quality of care. These aims would arguably be accomplished by removing inappropriate or unnecessary procedures and treatment options charged to workers compensation claims. Indiana may introduce legislation in reaction to the results of the study
What Services are Covered by Workers Compensation in Indiana
Workers comp is applied at both the federal and state levels. Federally, workers are protected by the Worker’s Compensation Act. This act is designed to benefit employees injured during activities normally occurring within the workday.
Locally, workers are protected by The Workers Compensation Board of Indiana. This group aims to ensure that disputes between injured workers and employers are resolved efficiently. This is accomplished in various ways. For example, employers are required to post workers comp notices providing insurance carrier contact information, so it is easily accessible by employees when needed.
The three main financial benefits available to injured workers through workers’ comp are:
- Wage replacement
- Medical care
- Money, if medical care can’t return an injured employee to pre-injury health status
Results of the Study
The study determined that Indiana is the state with the third highest workers compensation cost for non-hospital services. Non-hospital services include evaluation and management, various radiological procedures and emergent care. The cost difference was significant, topping more than 50 percent those found in other states.
The study spanned nine years and was designed to provide states with the discretionary ability to analyze how their costs compared nationally. If rising prices were isolated to one state, local management or reform could be used to help curtail the increases. Since Indiana faired so poorly, it is likely that legislation will be proposed in upcoming sessions to control these medical costs.
If you are injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. To ensure you receive the right coverage, it is important that you contact an experienced Indiana Workers Compensation Attorney to discuss your legal rights and remedies.