SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • injury severity;
  • length of stay;
  • disability;
  • worker's compensation;
  • injury;
  • linkage

Abstract

Background

To characterize the relationship between acute measures of severity and three important workers' compensation outcomes associated with a worker's ability to return to work and the cost of a work-related injury.

Methods

Probabilistic data linkage of workers' compensation claims made by injured construction workers from 2000 to 2005 with two Illinois medical record registries. Multivariable robust regression models were built to assess the relationship between three in-hospital measures and three outcomes captured in the Workers' Compensation data.

Results

In the final multivariable models, a categorical increase in injury severity was associated with an extra $7,830 (95% CI: $4,729–$10,930) of monetary compensation awarded, though not with temporary total disability (TTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD). Our models also predicted that every extra day spent in the hospital results in an increase of 0.51 (95% CI: 0.23–0.80) weeks of TTD and an extra $1,248 (95% CI: $810–$1,686) in monetary compensation. Discharge to an intermediate care facility following the initial hospitalization was associated with an increase of 8.15 (95% CI: 4.03–12.28) weeks of TTD and an increase of $23,440 (95% CI: $17,033–$29,847) in monetary compensation.

Conclusions

We were able to link data from the initial hospitalization for an injured worker with the final workers' compensation claims decision or settlement. The in-hospital measures of injury severity were associated with total monetary compensation as captured in the workers' compensation process. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:1149–1156, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.