WCRI to Present at the 68th Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference

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Dr. Richard Victor, executive director of the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), will present findings from three new WCRI studies at a special session of the 68th Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference (WCEC), August 18 – 21, at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

Photo of Dr. Richard Victor, WCRI's executive director.

Photo of Dr. Richard Victor, WCRI's executive director.

WCRI’s research reports and analyses are widely read and highly regarded by all of us in the workers' compensation system, and these latest studies are especially timely.

Dr. Richard Victor, executive director of the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), will present findings from three new WCRI studies at a special session of the 68th Annual Workers' Compensation Educational Conference (WCEC). The session is being held on Monday, August 19th from 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. at the Orlando World Center Marriott. The topic of the session is “Are There Unnecessary Costs in the Workers’ Compensation System?”

“It is an honor to be joining so many distinguished individuals at such an important forum,” said Dr. Richard Victor. “I will be sharing three of the Institute’s studies. The first study examines physician dispensing of opioids in Florida, while the others compare medical prices paid by payors under workers’ compensation and group health. This information will be of great value to those looking for ways to reduce unnecessary medical costs in their state workers’ compensation systems.”

The following are the three studies that Dr. Victor will be sharing at the conference:

  •     Impact of Banning Physician Dispensing of Opioids in Florida: In July 2011, a Florida law took effect which banned physicians from dispensing stronger opioids. This study looks at the impact and indicates that the policy change did reduce the use of opioids being prescribed by physicians. The study also looks at whether physician-dispensers continued to prescribe stronger opioids or did they substitute other pain medications for their patients.
  •     A New Benchmark for Workers' Compensation Fee Schedules: Prices Paid by Commercial Insurers?: This study indicates that prices paid to surgeons for common surgeries performed for injured workers were often higher than the prices paid by group health insurers for the same surgery in almost all of the 22 study states. In a number of states, the prices paid were 2-4 times higher for common surgeries for workers’ compensation compared with the prices paid for group health.
  •     Comparing Workers' Compensation and Group Health Hospital Outpatient Payments: The study is the first to compare hospital payments for the same surgical procedure when paid for by group health versus workers’ compensation. It found that in over two-thirds of the 16 study states, workers’ compensation hospital outpatient payments related to common surgeries were higher than those paid by group health, and in half of the study states, shoulder surgeries in workers’ compensation were at least $2,000 (or 43%) higher than in group health.

"We are honored that Dr. Victor will be a presenter at the 68th Annual Workers' Compensation Education Conference," says General Chairman James N. McConnaughhay. "WCRI’s research reports and analyses are widely read and highly regarded by all of us in the workers' compensation system, and these latest studies are especially timely. We welcome WCRI as an important contributor at our conference and look forward to its presentation this year and in years to come.”

The 68th Annual WCEC will be held August 18 –21 at the Orlando World Center Marriott and is considered a must-attend event for risk managers, claims adjusters, insurers, and medical and legal experts. Presented by the Workers’ Compensation Institute, the conference offers attendees an opportunity to connect with their peers and learn from nationally recognized experts. For more information, visit: http://www.wci360.com/conference/wcri-breakout.

ABOUT WCRI:

The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Cambridge, MA. Founded in 1983, WCRI is recognized as a leader in providing high-quality, credible, and objective information about public policy issues involving workers' compensation systems. WCRI's diverse membership includes employers; insurers; governmental entities; managed care companies; health care providers; insurance regulators; state labor organizations; and state administrative agencies in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. For more information, visit: http://www.wcrinet.org.

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Andrew Kenneally
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