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Number of workers’ comp claims in health care are on decline

The health care industry is one that is apparent in each and every state, including Ohio. A recent study conducted by global risk management group Aon Risk Solutions examined the factor of workers’ compensation, considering the effects that it is having and will have on said industry. According to the report, claim frequency is expected to decline in 2013 while claim severity will likely see an increase.

The study is the first that Aon has performed. It is called the Health Care Workers’ Compensation Barometer report and it represents more than 1,000 health care facilities from across the U.S. and the workers’ compensation claims made there. According to that report, the 2013 accident year will result in an annual loss rate of $0.79 per $100 of payroll, an amount that is in line with the stable rate seen in the industry since 2008.

Though the loss rate remains relatively stable, predictions suggest that it will continue to raise by 1 percent per year, upsetting the stability over several years. Previously, that stability was held in place by the decline in claim frequency, which has been decreasing for about a decade and is expected to continue declining by about 1 percent per year as well.

There are several factors that have allowed for this steady decline, according to the report. They include an extremely low level of turnover for nursing staff, which means that health care workers are only becoming more experienced and competent in their positions, allowing for increases in both patient and workplace safety. The increase in patient safety is largely due to the intent of the industry itself and a safer approach to patients has also contributed to a heightened safety for workers. New technologies have also saved workers from injuries.

Despite these efforts and changes, claim severity – measured by expenses related to the injury – has been increasing and is expected to continue to do so at an annual rate of 2 percent.

Source: Insurance Journal, “Health Care Workers’ Comp Claim Severity On the Rise: Aon,” Nov. 29, 2012

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