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WCIRB Releases Report on 2021 California Workers’ Compensation Aggregate Medical Payment Trends

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) has released California Workers’ Compensation Aggregate Medical Payment Trends – Updated through Calendar Year 2021. The report is available in the Research section of the WCIRB website as well as through the following link:

This report compares medical payment information from 2019 through 2021. The annual report analyzes medical payment and utilization trends by provider type, service locations and different service types.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Overall medical payments per claim increased significantly, mostly driven by increases in the payments per transaction. The increase in payments per transaction was largely due to the 2021 fee schedule updates to medical-legal and evaluation and management services.
  • The 2021 Medical-Legal Fee Schedule and 2021 updates to the reimbursement allowance for evaluation and management services drove up the average payments per service as well as medical payment share for both medical-legal services and evaluation and management services in 2021 compared to the prior two years.
  • Office or other outpatient service procedures continued to grow and are the fastest-growing physician service in 2021. Use of analgesics anti-inflammatory prescriptions increased more significantly than that of any other therapeutic group.
  • Utilization of telehealth services continued to decline in 2021 but still remained at a much higher level than pre-pandemic periods.
September 22, 2022