New WCRI Study Provides Tool to Monitor Impact of Workers' Compensation Reforms in Illinois

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Illinois's Governor just signed comprehensive workers' compensation reform legislation into law. The recently released WCRI study gives policymakers and other stakeholders the tools to evaluate the impact of the reforms.

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Although the reforms address many of the key cost drivers in the system, there is no way of knowing whether they will have the impact the Governor and Legislature desire without putting a monitoring system in place.

On the heels of workers' compensation reforms recently signed into law by Gov. Quinn, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) released a study, CompScope Medical Benchmarks for Illinois, 11th Edition, which provides metrics to monitor and evaluate the impact of recent reforms.

“Although the reforms address many of the key cost drivers in the system, there is no way of knowing whether they will have the impact the Governor and Legislature desire without putting a monitoring system in place,” said Ramona Tanabe, WCRI's Deputy Director and Counsel. “The latest WCRI publication provides the pre-reform baseline against which to monitor progress.”

The WCRI baseline study provides detailed metrics on medical costs, prices and utilization. States that monitor and measure the results of reforms are more able to make timely and modest mid-course corrections to avoid another crisis. States that do not measure the results achieved invariably wait for the next crisis to occur before corrective actions are taken.

A second baseline study is currently in progress and will provide additional metrics on costs, timeliness of payments to workers, litigiousness, and return to work. Together, these studies will provide a comprehensive baseline for measuring the success of the Illinois reforms.

WCRI is based in Cambridge, MA and is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization supported in its public policy research by employers, insurers, insurance regulators and state regulatory agencies as well as several state labor organizations. For more information, visit: http://www.wcrinet.org.

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Andrew Kenneally
Workers Compensation Research Institute
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