Tag Archives: Severity

Trends in Workers’ Compensation Claims: Some Things to Think About for Medical Travel

It is rare that I post articles from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) on this blog, and it has been some time since I discussed workers’ comp and medical travel in the same post, so I thought that this would be a good time to do so.

NCCI is the premier source for data collection in the workers’ compensation industry. Their focus is more involved with the factors that drive the cost of workers’ comp insurance, rather than specific issues in workers’ comp that one might find from reading the reports of the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

As the article will note, there has been a decrease in frequency of claims, but an increase in severity. Claim frequency is defined by NCCI as the number of claims involving lost wage benefits paid, divided by earned premium. For those of you in the health care and medical travel worlds, just know that it means there are more claims reported to insurance carriers.

Claim severity, on the other hand, is defined as losses incurred, divided by the number of claims, for lost wage benefits paid. This will be of importance to the medical travel industry, as they have found a +16% increase in medical severity from 2011 to 2016.

I will let you read the rest of the article here.

Want to Cut Your Litigation Costs and Lower Your Ex Mod?

Now that this year’s RIMS conference is over, and while we are all waiting for NCCI’S Annual Issues Symposium where they will present this year’s “State of the Line Report”, I thought I’d discuss two conversations I had today and yesterday with two individuals in CA, both of whom work for an insurance services company.

This company was mentioned in a video that was included in an article I wrote in December 2013. This video discussed how the company partnered with an insurance carrier to offer injured Mexican workers to get treatment in Mexico for injuries sustained on the job in CA.

From my conversations with these two individuals, I learned that not only are the employers covered by this insurance carrier saving money on medical care by having workers get treated in Mexico, but that it is also having the effect of lowering the litigation costs, as well as lowering the ex mod rates, because of the lower severity of claims due to the lower cost of total medical care spend.

With regard to lower litigation costs, one individual told me that 85% of all litigated cases in CA are from Latino workers. This is not due to their propensity to sue, but rather from the linguistic and cultural barriers they face working in Southern California.

I’ve mentioned the absence of linguistic and cultural barriers before with regard to the advantages of medical travel in work comp, but now I have outside proof that these barriers are responsible for higher litigation rates and costs.

On the other hand, having injured workers treated in Mexico at lower cost, and with better outcomes in facilities that are equal to or better than those across the border, especially the public facilities that may be impacted by budget cuts at the state level, and it is clear to see that employer severity (i.e., the overall cost of the claim) will have a tremendous effect on that employer’s ex mod.

In a past life, I worked on WC Statistical Reporting, so I know how important severity and frequency is to an employer. Frequency is the purview of safety people; severity can be dealt with, in part, by seeking lower cost, higher quality care outside the US.

The choice is yours.


I am willing to work with any broker, carrier, or employer interested in saving money on expensive surgeries, and to provide the best care for their injured workers or their client’s employees.

Call me for more information, next steps, or connection strategies at (561) 738-0458 or (561) 603-1685, cell. Email me at: richard_krasner@hotmail.com. Ask me any questions you may have on how to save money on expensive surgeries under workers’ comp. Connect with me on LinkedIn and follow my blog at: richardkrasner.wordpress.com. Share this article, or leave a comment below.