Navigation Links
Most occupational injury and illness costs are paid by the government and private payers
Date:5/25/2012

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) UC Davis researchers have found that workers' compensation insurance is not used nearly as much as it should be to cover the nation's multi-billion dollar price tag for workplace illnesses and injuries. Instead, almost 80 percent of these costs are paid by employer-provided health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other disability funds, employees and other payers.

Authors of the study, published in the April issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, said this cost shifting leads to artificially low workers' compensation premiums that should be used to cover wage replacement and medical care for employees injured on the job.

"This is a classic example of what we call a 'negative externality' in economics -- where prices do not accurately reflect costs that spill over to others and have negative social outcomes," said Paul Leigh, lead author of the study and a UC Davis professor of public health sciences affiliated with the UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy. "Workers' injuries and illnesses cost much more than what current workers' compensation payments suggest, and the resulting low premiums provide little incentive for companies to promote workplace safety."

In a study he published last year, Leigh, an expert in health and labor economics, found that total annual costs for occupational injuries and illnesses in 2007 were nearly $250 billion: $67.09 billion related to medical care and $182.54 billion related to lost productivity.

In the current cost-of-illness study, Leigh showed that just 21 percent -- or $51.7 billion -- of those costs were covered by workers' compensation. He also identified who pays for the extra $198 billion -- or 79 percent.

By combining 2007 data from several government and nonprofit organizations, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics and National Council on Compensation Insurance, Leigh found that the medical costs for occupational injuries and illnesses were primarily paid by these sources:

  • Workers' compensation: $29.86 billion
  • Other non-workers' compensation health insurance: $14.22 billion
  • Workers and their families: $10.38 billion
  • Medicare: $7.16 billion
  • Medicaid: $5.47 billion

He also found that only $21.86 billion in lost productivity costs are paid by workers' compensation insurers, with the remaining $160.68 billion covered by other sources, including workers and their families, the Social Security Disability fund and state disability funds.

"Cost-shifting affects everyone, because we're all paying higher Medicare and income taxes to help cover that 79 percent," said Leigh.

Leigh suggests three changes in current workers' compensation and employee health practices to reduce cost shifting and overall costs and to help ensure workplace safety:

  1. Eliminate the stigma often associated with filing workers' compensation claims by openly acknowledging the legitimacy of using workers' compensation insurance for occupational injuries.
  2. Encourage more states to adopt single-payer government-managed workers' compensation systems to save administrative costs.
  3. Link premiums with company-specific injury experience rather than industry-wide estimates, which would encourage companies to lower premiums by reducing workplace hazards.

"The ultimate goals should be to comprehensively address the way occupational health is managed and establish cultures of safety for workers," said Leigh.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen Finney
karen.finney@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9064
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Occupational Health Expert Expands PureSafety's Growing Strategic Resources Team
2. Occupational sunlight exposure and kidney cancer risk in men
3. Schwartzapfel Truhowsky Marcus P.C. Launches Special Legal Aid To The Victims of Medical Negligence And Occupational Injuries
4. HealthLinkRx Announces Classes in Spanish for Occupational and Physical Therapists
5. AthletiCo Physical and Occupational Therapy and Chicago White Sox Partner for 7th Inning Stretch Fan Cam
6. AthletiCo Offers Occupational Therapy Tips for Managing Arthritis
7. Allegheny Medical's Occupational Health Services Helps Employers Build a Healthier Workforce
8. AthletiCo Physical and Occupational Therapy Supports Partners in Health Stand with Haiti
9. Complimentary Injury Screenings Available at All AthletiCo Physical and Occupational Therapy Centers
10. Study describes health effects of occupational exposures in Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant workers
11. Occupational lung diseases in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 16, 2017 , ... ... Aesthetic Surgery Journal , the official journal of The American Society for Aesthetic ... retraction surgery. The procedure is designed to correct drooping, retracted lower eyelids, which ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... San Francisco dentist, Dr. Ben Amini , the ... device which is capable of taking digital impressions of teeth and gums. Conventional bite ... CAD CAM restorations , in terms of speed, efficiency and patient comfort. Increasingly, digital ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... ... January 15, 2017 , ... In this role, Courtney will be responsible ... the asthma & allergy friendly mark. This certification program was created by ASL and ... products to be more suitable for the 60+ million people living in the U.S. ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) is ... services. Albertsons Companies is the largest national food and drug chain with ... Accreditation by ACHC reflects Albertsons Companies’ dedication and commitment to meeting national standards ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... ... January 14, 2017 , ... Wondering where to go this Valentine's Day? ... your door for a romantic, lobster feast in the comfort of your own home. ... The dinners will be featured until February 15th, 2017. , Romantic Dinner one ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/16/2017)... Bill is an internationally experienced medical device industry executive who ... global medical device companies, including Smith & Nephew, Angiodynamics, Orthovita and ... and building successful businesses in the sector and has worked in ... North America . ... Educated at the University of Edinburgh (Dental Surgery), ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... Analytics 4 Life (A4L), a machine intelligence company developing ... @ Toronto , one of Johnson ... in the space, A4L has access to a rich ... JLABS @ Toronto ... flexible environment for start-up companies pursuing new technologies and ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... NASHVILLE, Tenn. , Jan. 16, 2017  Cumberland ... addition of Kenneth J. Krogulski , CFA to ... Chief Executive Officer of Berkshire Asset Management LLC ... Berkshire, a 30-year-old independent SEC registered investment advisory firm ... Krogulski has over 37 years, experience in security analysis ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: