New Report on California Workers’ Medical Payment Trends

The California Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Board has released an updated report on overall California workers’ compensation medical payment trends for 2021.

The latest annual report compares information on medical payments from 2019 to 2021. It analyzes trends in payment and use of medical care by type of provider, service locations and different types of services.

The report’s findings include:

  • Overall, medical payments per claim increased significantly, due to the increase in payments per transaction. The increase in payments per transaction is largely driven by updates to the 2021 fee schedule for Medico-Legal and Assessment and Management Services.
  • The 2021 medico-legal fee schedule and 2021 updates to the reimbursement allocation for assessment and management services increased the average payments per service as well as the share of medical payments for medico-legal services. legal and valuation and management services in 2021.
  • Office procedures or other outpatient services have continued to grow and are the fastest growing medical service in 2021. Prescription use of anti-inflammatory painkillers has increased more significantly than any other therapeutic group.

The report also revealed that the use of telehealth services continued to decline in 2021. However, it still remained at a level far higher than pre-pandemic times.

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California Trends Workers Compensation

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