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WCIRB Report Compares Telehealth to In-Person Services in California Workers’ Comp

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) has released a new report, Telehealth Services in the California Workers’ Compensation System. The report reviews the characteristics of telehealth services provided in the California workers’ compensation system and how claims involving telehealth services compare to those involving only in-person medical services.  

The full report is available in the Research section of the WCIRB website and at the following link: 

Key findings in the report include: 

  • Use of telehealth services increased sharply during the early months of the pandemic, driving up the share of telehealth payments. Despite a gradual decline of telehealth service utilization in subsequent quarters, the overall usage and payments for telehealth services remained significantly higher in 2021 and 2022 than during the pre-pandemic period.  
  • The increased utilization of telehealth services is mainly concentrated in evaluation and management (E/M) services, which account for over 80 percent of all telehealth services provided during the pandemic. 
  • Psychotherapies and psychiatric services have the highest share of services provided via telehealth. Claims involving mental and behavioral disorders are also more likely to use telehealth services  
  • Compared to claims with in-person services only, claims with telehealth services are more likely to be indemnity claims and are more common among somewhat younger injured workers and workers in the retail and health industries. 

WCIRB Research Forum Webinar 

The WCIRB will host a free webinar to discuss the Telehealth Services in the California Workers’ Compensation System report. Click on the registration link below to sign up. 

Telehealth Services in the California Workers’ Compensation System 
Thursday, March 23, 2023, 10:00 – 11:00 AM PT 
The number of telehealth visits has seen an uptick since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. In this webinar, which coincides with the release of the WCIRB’s new report, presenters will discuss characteristics of telehealth services, as well as claims involving telehealth services, in the California workers’ compensation system. 

A recording will also be posted in the Research section of the WCIRB website following the event. 

March 22, 2023