The rising cost of the medical portion of the workers’ compensation benefit dollar has been an ongoing concern for all workers’ compensation systems. In 1993, Ohio introduced managed care into its workers’ compensation system to “help hold down the cost of the system by providing new mechanisms for medical cost containment.”
Since that legislation, Ohio’s workers’ compensation managed care system has been constantly evolving; some would argue that it has evolved into something different than envisioned by its drafters.
During the next few months, I will be discussing Ohio’s system in much more detail, and always from the perspective as to whether the present system is following the drafters’ vision. By the way, I was one of the drafters of the “BWC HPP-Design Component Agreements” so hopefully my perspective will have some veracity to it.
Meanwhile, the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) has just released the latest update of its study, Workers’ Compensation Medical Cost Containment: A National Inventory, 2013. According to WCRI’s press release, the study is to assist policymakers and system stakeholders to better understand what methods are being implemented by different states to help contain costs. The study contains an inventory of statutory provisions, administrative rules, and administrative procedures employed by 51 jurisdictions as of January 1, 2013. For those who want to purchase the study: http://www.wcrinet.org/studies/public/books/MCC_2013_book.html
I hope you look forward to and enjoy my ongoing discussion on this important aspect of Ohio’s workers’ compensation system.