Comparing Outcomes for Injured Workers in Michigan, a new study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), analyzed how Michigan compared with 10 other states within the context of this “key value proposition.”
When compared to 10 other states, outcomes for injured workers in Michigan were generally in the middle of the range on most measures.
The study juxtaposed worker outcomes in each study state within the areas of recovery of physical health and functioning, return to work, access to health care and satisfaction with health care with data on the costs and utilization of medical care.
On average, employers in Michigan paid less for medical care per claim with more than seven days of lost time than most other study states. The average paid medical cost per claim with more than seven days of lost time was 27 percent lower than the average medical cost in the median of the 11 states studied, largely due to a lower than typical fee schedule.
Recoveries of injured workers in Michigan were in the middle of the range of states studied, according to WCRI. The average worker in Michigan received a typical amount of medical care and reported a typical physical recovery after his or her injury.
Workers in Michigan had return-to-work outcomes typical of the study states, said WCRI. Some 10 percent of Michigan workers reported never having returned to work and 14 percent reported never having a substantial return to work (one that lasted at least one month) predominantly due to their injury as of 2.5 years postinjury.
Michigan workers typically returned to substantial employment about nine weeks after their injury, putting the state in the middle of the group of states. Only 22 percent of Michigan workers did not have a substantial return to work one year postinjury – a better outcome compared to most other states studied.
The study also found that:
The study consisted of telephone interviews with 786 workers in Michigan who received workers’ comp income benefits for injuries that arose between October 2005 and September 2006. The interviews were conducted during September and October 2008 – on average, about two and one-half years after the dates of the workers’ injuries.
To order this report, contact WCRI at (617) 661-9274.