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WCIRB Analyzes Aggregate Medical Payment Trends in California Workers’ Compensation Insurance

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) has released the 2020 California Workers’ Compensation Aggregate Medical Payment Trends report comparing medical payment information from 2018 to 2020. 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 different 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 declined significantly in 2020, largely driven by a sharp drop in the number of claims during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, average medical payment per claim and utilization per claim started to increase despite the continuous declines in prior years.
  • Utilization of telehealth services increased sharply during the pandemic.
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation procedures continued to be the fastest growing within all physician services. Use of anti-inflammatory analgesics increased more significantly than other therapeutic groups from 2019 to 2020.
  • The number of claims involving opioid prescriptions continued to decline significantly.
  • Contrary to the opioid trends, use of physical medicine services had steadily increased from early 2018 to the end of 2020.
September 2, 2021