A recent report from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California found that medical payments fell in 2018 compared to 2016. The report, titled California Workers’ Compensation Aggregate Medical Payment Trends and summarized in the Insurance Journal, found that medical payments for workers’ compensation claims continued to decline overall for the year. The report also assessed the impact on opioid prescriptions of the new drug formulary enacted by the California Division of Workers’ Compensation last year, which contributed significantly to the decrease in medical payments.
The ups and downs of medical payments in California
Although the report found an overall decrease in medical payments since 2016, not all types of payments decreased. Payments for physical therapy, rehabilitation, and other forms of physical medicine all increased significantly.
The most substantial decrease in payments came from a reduction in the number of opioid prescriptions and the dosages of those prescriptions. While opioid payments also decreased in 2017, 2018 saw a dramatic acceleration of the rate of decrease. This suggests that new drug guidelines introduced last year in response to the national opioid epidemic are having their intended result. The upshot, however, is that other medical payments did not necessarily decrease as steeply as the report’s summary might suggest.
California workers’ compensation attorney services
As the state continues to tighten medical payments for workers’ compensation claims, it is more important than ever that you hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney if you have been injured on the job. Accident Recovery Legal Center has been looking out for workers in Central and Northern California for over 80 years. If you’re thinking about pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, call 1-888-931-WORK (9675) today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer.