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WCIRB Releases Report on California Workers’ Compensation Aggregate Medical Payment Trends

California Workers' Compensation Aggregate Medical Payment Trends ReportThe Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) has released the California Workers’ Compensation Aggregate Medical Payment Trends report comparing medical payment information from 2016 to 2018. The report also includes an analysis on utilization and cost of opioid prescriptions over time and by region.

The following are key findings of the report:

  • Overall medical payments continued to decline in 2018 as the medical payments per claim decreased.
  • The medical payments for pharmaceuticals and to pharmaceutical providers declined sharply.
  • Physical therapy services experienced the largest increase in the share of medical payments driven by increases in both service utilization and paid per service.
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation procedures continued to grow the fastest within all physician services and use of anticonvulsants increased more significantly than any other therapeutic groups.
  • Opioid prescriptions and costs declined significantly, mostly driven by fewer claims involving opioid prescriptions. In addition, average doses of opioids prescribed dropped sharply as did the concurrent use of opioids and sedatives.
  • Fresno, Bakersfield and Tulare areas had the highest share of claims involving opioid prescriptions, while the Silicon Valley area and the Los Angeles Basin had the lowest share.

Read the entire report at the following link:

WCIRB Research Forum Webinar

2018 California Aggregate Medical Payment Trends and One-Year Impact of the Drug Formulary
Wednesday, September 4, 2019, 10:00 – 11:00 AM PT
The WCIRB’s Julia Zhang, Ph.D., Managing Director, Medical Analytics, and Elizabeth Sabiniano, Senior Medical Data Research Analyst, will host a free webinar to discuss the 2018 California Workers’ Compensation Aggregate Medical Payment Trends report as well as the California’s New Drug Formulary – One-Year Checkup research brief. 
View the video recording of the webinar>

For those unable to attend the live webinar, a recording will be posted in the Research section of the WCIRB website following the event.

Check out a video with Julia Zhang and Elizabeth Sabiniano announcing the release of the report.


September 3, 2019