Minnesota’s workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system. In other words, an employee doesn’t have to prove that their employer was negligent in order to establish some kind of liability. In turn, the employer can’t use employee negligence as a defense to deny a claim.
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry states that the costs of workers’ comp benefits have declined relative to payroll since the early 2000s. This put Minnesota in the 20th spot in the country in regards to premium rates. The number stood at just under $2.000 for every $100 in payroll or 107% of the national median.
In 2013, Minnesota implemented a number of changes that were aimed at indemnity, medical, and vocational rehabilitation. In 2016, new hospital inpatient fee regulations were put into place.
So far, Minnesota has not seen much change in the overall medical payments per workers’ comp claim since 2009. However, a study by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute identified an increase in hospital payments. They have pegged that as the main driver of the moderate medical cost growth that was seen between 2005 and 2013.
In that eight-year period, payments per service for treatment and surgery and recovery services grew about 8 percent per year. That is faster than other hospital outpatient service groups, according to the Institute.
In 2015, the claims from 2012 were evaluated. The costs per claim averaged out at $8,116. This was 18 percent lower than the 18 other states that the number was compared with.
As the number of workers’ comp claims continue to decline in Minnesota, it is expected that the costs will continue to decline as well. Even if the per case cost remains the same, a reduction in cases will reduce the payments that insurance companies are making to injured workers. Whether or not this will have an impact on the approval rate of claims is unknown.
As it stands, approximately 70% of claims are initially denied. This doesn’t mean the claim isn’t legitimate. What this means is that the insurance company has found a detail that they find insufficient or there may be an error. Providing more information or correcting an error when appealing a denial can result in approval of the claim.
So the question remains that if there are fewer claims being made, will the 70% lower? This is something that only time will tell.
Contact A Mankato Workers' Compensation Lawyer Today
Contact the law office of Chesley, Harvey & Carpenter today at (507) 625-3000 for a free case review. We are located in Mankato, Minnesota.