Network utilization by injured workers reaches record high

Network utilization by injured workers reaches record high

Medical care provided to injured workers in California using network physicians has grown over the last five years and now stands at record highs, as told by a study on behalf of the California Workers Compensation Institute. In 2005, the use of network physicians to provide medical care for injured Californians gained serious momentum – the precise year when many argue that our economy saw the beginning stages of a plunge.

According to the study, the increasing trend occurred just after the Medical Providers Network (MPN) became available for the first time in the California worker’s compensation system.

The study revealed that the utilization rate of network physician use for worker’s compensation claims rose from 51% in 2004 to 61 % in 2005 when MPNs were first introduced. This rate has grown substantially since 2005, and the latest test data shows that network utilization has risen by 75% in 2009 alone.

Changes in the proportion of the services provided by network providers within and beyond the 30 day cap were calculated by the researchers in order to find out to what extent was this increase in utilization of the network was linked to the expansion of employer medical control.

The increase in worker’s compensation claims are on the rise in California, and studies like these suggest that a reform could be a long way away from small businesses in California.

As we previously covered in another blog, small businesses are being substantially affected by false worker’s compensation claims. As a result, insurance premiums have skyrocketed, causing some businesses to conduct their operations illegally by forfeiting the purchase of worker’s compensation insurance. While it’s never a good idea to break the law, many small businesses feel they are forced to in light of rising worker’s comp costs.

If you’d like to take a stand against the rising costs of worker’s compensation, sign our petition now.

(photo credit: Michigan.gov)