New Study Tracks NY Workers Comp Reform Success

Workers Comp Reforms Made in New York in 2007 Now Tracked By Study to Measure Success

workers compThe Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) has released the results of a study that tracked changes made in the New York workers compensation system in 2007, to measure the success or failure of changes.

The new study, “Monitoring Changes in New York after the 2007 Reforms,” is the latest edition of an annual report that tracks metrics of the performance of the state’s workers comp system after it was overhauled in 2007.

Overall, the reforms increased maximum payment, limited the number of weeks of permanent partial disability (PPD) payments, created medical treatment guidelines, adopted a pharmaceutical fee schedule, established networks for diagnostic services and thresholds for preauthorization, and enacted changes to increase the speed of case determination and resolution.

The workers comp study made a few key findings, as well:

  • The average weekly temporary total disability benefit actually increased, by 26%, after the implementation of three increases between 2007 and 2009.
  • There was an average increase in lump sum payment PPD cases, by 10.5%, while PPD cases with no lump sum payment with 24 months experience fell an average of 13 points between 2007 and 2009.
  • The implementation and subsequent change of the pharmaceutical fee schedule decreased the average price per pill, depending on drug and dosage, by about 10 to 20 percent.
  • Defense attorney involvement in workers comp disputes increased between 2005 and 2007, was stable through 2007 to 2009, and decreased about 2% in 2010.

The report noted that the changes have been implemented at various times between 2007 and 2009, so as a result it will take several more years to measure the full effect of all of the workers comp reforms collectively.

“This is a significant tool for tracking the latest changes to the New York workers’ compensation system following the reforms in 2007,” said Ramona Tanabe, deputy director and counsel for WCRI. “It can help public policymakers, employers, insurers, and other stakeholders determine the effectiveness of the changes and if they have generated unintended consequences.”

What are Worker’s Compensation Benefits?

Workers compensation is an insurance policy your employer must carry to make sure that employees injured at work can obtain necessary medical treatment and financial assistance for lost wages, plus additional compensation for any work-related injury, sickness, or disease that causes total or partial impairment to work. South Carolina Workers’ Compensation is available regardless of fault when the injury arises out of, and in the course of, employment.

By law, every South Carolina employer with four or more full-time employees must have workers compensation insurance.

The protection provided under the South Carolina Workers Comp Act is only the beginning of your right to compensation for a workplace injury.

Workers’ compensation insurance benefits to assist the injured employee include:

  • Medical treatment and other medical expenses (gas mileage, public transportation costs)
  • Lost wages: 2/3 of an employee’s wages will be paid out after a seven-day waiting period
  • Compensation for a permanent loss: blindness, loss of limb
  • Death benefits to spouse and dependents

The Strom Law Firm Understands Worker’s Comp Legislation

The workers comp lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC proudly seek justice on behalf of employees injured or killed on the job who work for private companies, as well as employees working for local county, city, and state government. We are licensed to practice throughout South Carolina, as well as Georgia and New York. If you are confused about worker’s comp laws, or have had your worker’s comp claim denied, contact us. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800.