The WCRI recently conducted a baseline study to examine North Carolina’s 2011 Workers’ Compensation reforms. Prior studies found that North Carolina paid more in income benefits per claim than many other states (16 states were studied). North Carolina workers were also slower to get back to work, which meant more temporary disability cases and higher lump-sum payments than the other states. The 2011 study was meant to provide a baseline so that studies for future years could be compared to the baseline. In this way, it can be determined whether the reforms really worked.
The WRCI did indicate that some outside factors, other than WC data, had to be considered. For example, the recession could have meant and could still mean that workers don’t go back to work sooner because there simply aren’t enough jobs.
Other factors that were part of the baseline study included a 2009 North Carolina fee schedule that lowered the amount of hospital reimbursements. North Carolina also paid out medical costs per claim at a lower rate than many other states. For 2008 through 2010, North Carolina medical costs for each claim rose by three percent. The average among the other states was eight percent.
Attorney Joe Miller works for North Carolina employees who are hurt on the job or suffer an occupational illness. He fights to make sure your injury or illness is properly classified, that your wage and medical benefits are paid in a timely manner, and to see that you secure any additional benefits that may apply, such as vocational retraining benefits. For the experienced help you need for your workers’ compensation claim, contact Joe Miller Law, Ltd., today at (888) 694-1671.