Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Excess healthcare costs associated with prior workers' compensation activity†
Article first published online: 11 SEP 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume 55, Issue 11, pages 1018–1027, November 2012
How to Cite
Bhattacharya, A. and Park, R. M. (2012), Excess healthcare costs associated with prior workers' compensation activity. Am. J. Ind. Med., 55: 1018–1027. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22112
- Issue published online: 17 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 11 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 AUG 2012
- workers compensation;
- health insurance;
- occupational disease;
- two-part models
Workers compensation (WC) does not fully compensate workplace injuries and illnesses. This work examines whether cost shifting occurs to group health insurance for work-related injuries and illnesses.
Thomson Reuters MarketScan databases of medical insurance claims were used. WC and other benefit system data, employee status and types of medical insurance coverage were also available. Medical cost was analyzed using two-part models: the first part modeled the monthly probability of a worker having any group health medical claims, and the second part modeled the total monthly cost of those medical claims. Models included an estimate of a worker's annual medical costs prior to a WC claim. The predicted monthly medical costs were derived by retransformation using Duan's smearing factor.
Individuals with prior WC claims were more likely to file a group health medical claim compared to those with no prior WC claims (OR = 1.25) and incurred a higher average monthly medical costs (among nonunion hourly men aged 18–34 years with prior WC claims: $203.72 vs. $160.29 with no prior claim, an increase of $43). These increases were observed in all industrial sectors with the service sector having the highest monthly increase ($66).
The results reveal that individuals with prior WC claims had higher probability of filing a group health medical claim and higher average monthly medical costs in all sectors. This suggests that a part of employer liability costs related to WC gets shifted to the group health medical insurance system. Am. J. Ind. Med. 55:1018–1027, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.