WCRI Publishes Three New Studies On Ambulatory Surgery Centers

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Rising costs of workers’ compensation surgeries and the substantial expansion of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) have attracted the attention of workers’ compensation policymakers and system stakeholders in many states. To help them better understand ASC payments for common surgeries, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) released three new studies.

Surgeon operating.

Surgeon operating.

These studies will help policymakers and system stakeholders better understand the ASC facility payments for common surgeries.

Rising costs of workers’ compensation surgeries and the substantial expansion of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) have attracted the attention of workers’ compensation policymakers and system stakeholders in many states. To help them better understand ASC payments for common surgeries, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) released three new studies.

“These studies will help policymakers and system stakeholders better understand the ASC facility payments for common surgeries in their state, how they compare with other states, how they compare with payments for common surgeries conducted in hospital outpatient settings, and the role of different types of fee schedules,” said Dr. Bogdan Savych, author of the reports and a public policy analyst with WCRI.

The titles of the three studies along with a short description for each are as follows:

  •     The first study, Payments to Ambulatory Surgery Centers, 2nd Edition, compares ASC facility payments for common outpatient knee and shoulder surgeries across 33 states in calendar year 2013. The study also examines rates of growth in ASC payments over time by looking at how average ASC payments changed from 2008 to 2013 for 29 states. The impacts of major fee schedule changes over that time period are also examined. Click here to purchase.
  •     The second study, Comparing Payments to Ambulatory Surgery Centers and Hospital Outpatient Departments, 2nd Edition, compares ASC and hospital outpatient facility payments for common knee and shoulder surgeries across 32 states in calendar year 2013. A comparison of how average ASC and hospital outpatient payments changed from 2008 to 2013 is also provided. Click here to purchase.
  •     The last study, Crossing State Lines for Ambulatory Surgical Care: Exploring Claims from New York, examines how features of the New York workers’ compensation fee schedule in effect in 2010–2013 contributed to an increase in the likelihood that injured workers who lived and worked in New York City received ambulatory surgical services in New Jersey. Click here to purchase.

The analysis for these three studies uses data from actual payments for facility services that are associated with common surgical episodes for treating shoulder and knee injury conditions for workers with workers’ compensation claims in 33 states. Surgeries examined in this analysis represent 84 percent of the ASC surgeries performed in analysis states for workers with knee conditions and 38 percent of surgeries performed for workers with shoulder conditions. The authors examined trends in ASC payments by looking at the changes in payments between 2008 and 2013.

The Cambridge-based WCRI is an independent, non-partisan research institute that is recognized as a leader in providing high quality, objective information about public policy issues involving workers' compensation systems.

ABOUT WCRI:

The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Cambridge, MA. Organized in late 1983, the Institute does not take positions on the issues it researches; rather, it provides information obtained through studies and data collection efforts, which conform to recognized scientific methods. Objectivity is further ensured through rigorous, unbiased peer review procedures. 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.

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Andrew Kenneally
Workers Compensation Research Institute
+1 (617) 661-9274 Ext: 257
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Workers Compensation Research Institute - WCRI
since: 06/2011
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