Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Loss-Reduction Approved, California Approves Faster Test

Workers’ compensation changes are occurring all over the country. Pennsylvania has approved loss-cost reduction for workers’ comp. The Insurance Commission approved a loss-cost filing with 12.95% of loss-costs approved. The reduction, according to workers’ compensation lawyers, is likely to lead to lower premium costs for businesses in the state.

The Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau recommended the loss-cost filing measure.

Two mid-year lost cost filings were approved in December 2018. The most recent approval involves annual filing and is distinct from the previous filings. The two previous loss-reduction approvals involved disability claims and the correction of a loss-cost filing.

Pennsylvania lawmakers claim that the reductions are helping businesses in the state create new jobs and offer a vibrant, competitive insurance market. More than 325 companies in the state offer workers’ compensation increases.

Lawmakers claim that not all employers will see a reduction in their premiums.

“This significant cut continues several years of reductions, further helping business owners create good-paying jobs in Pennsylvania,” Altman said. “Under Gov. Wolf’s leadership, my department is working to maintain a vibrant and competitive workers’ compensation insurance market, helping to keep costs down.”

California lawmakers are also testing a system that allows injured workers to file and receive approval for their claims faster.

New software will allow workers’ compensation providers to allow for real-time authorization for patient treatments. The approval will come through electronic medical records rather than requiring a fax which can take several days for approval.

The State Compensation Insurance Fund helped fund the software development to allow for faster approvals for injured workers. The software allows for faster approval and also treatment for workers. The goal is to provide treatment faster and help workers return to the workplace more quickly as a result.

Medical care costs may even drop with the new system because there will be less of a risk that the worker will suffer from complications. The software, called UR Connected, leverages information that is already in computer systems to provide the real-time approvals.

Providers will not have to go offline during the approval process or fill out paperwork.

When the physician is requesting treatment, the provider can approve the treatment in real-time, or the matter can be passed on to a utilization review at the insurance company. The review is used to determine whether or not the insurer will provide health care services to the employee.

Evidence-based procedures will get approved while the patient is in the exam room, allowing for much faster treatment than under the current system.