A 7-Year Longitudinal Claim Analysis To Assess the Factors Contributing to the Increased Severity of Work-Related Injuries
In recent decades, the frequency of medical-only (MO) and lost-time (LT) workers’ compensation claims has decreased, while average severity (medical and indemnity costs) has increased. The aim of this study was to compare claim frequency, mix, and severity (cost) over two periods using a claim cohort follow-up method.
62,533 claims during two periods (1999–2002 and 2003–2006) were followed 7 years postinjury. Descriptive analysis and significant testing methods were used to compare claim frequency and costs. The number of claims per USD 1 million of premium decreased 50.4% for MO claims and 35.6% for LT claims, consequently increasing the LT claim proportion. The average cost of LT claims did not increase.
The severity increase is attributable to the proportional change in LT and MO claims. While the number of LT claims decreased, the inflation-adjusted average cost of LT claims did not increase.