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WCIRB Analyzes Aggregate Medical Payment Trends in California Workers’ Compensation

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) has released the 2019 California Workers’ Compensation Aggregate Medical Payment Trends report comparing medical payment information from 2017 to 2019. The report is available in the Research section of the WCIRB website, or you can read it at the following link:

This report analyzes medical payment and utilization trends by provider type, service locations and service types. The report also includes an analysis on utilization and cost of opioid prescriptions and physical medicine services over time and by region.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Overall medical payments and payments per claim continued to decline in 2019, with pharmaceuticals experiencing continuous sharp declines in medical payments.
  • Physical therapy services experienced the largest increase in the share of medical payments, largely driven by increases in the paid per service.
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation procedures are the fastest growing within all physician services, and use of hematological agents increased more significantly than other therapeutic groups from 2018 to 2019.
  • The number of claims involving opioid prescriptions continued to decline significantly.
  • Contrary to the opioid trends, use of physical medicine services steadily increased from early 2017 to the end of 2019.
September 10, 2020