While scanning LinkedIn yesterday afternoon, I noticed someone had posted a link to an article in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM) early last month.
The abstract stated that the financial impact of choice of physician within workers’ compensation had not be well studied, and that the purpose of the article was to assess the difference in cost between employer and employee directed choice of physician.
As many of you will recall, this subject was one of the first topics I covered when I began my blog over five years ago.
The following articles are linked here for your review:
The authors, Tao, Leung, Kalia, Lavin, Yuspeh, Bernacki (2017) analyzed 35,640 indemnity lost time claims from a 13-year period at a nationwide company, using multivariate logistic regression to determine association of medical direction with high-cost of claims.
Tao et al. found that states that have employer-directed choice of physician have lower risk of having high cost claims, greater than or equal to, $50,000, but had higher attorney involvement compared to employee direction. Their results showed that the net effect of attorneys offset the benefits of employer choice.
This study may be in line with the WCRI study I cited in the article above, “Employer Choice States See Lower Claim Costs”, but because of higher attorney involvement, the benefits are negated.
They concluded that states that permit employer selection of treating physician have higher cost due to greater participation by attorneys in the claims process.