WORKERS COMP: Kaiser Permanente-State Fund Partnership Lowers Medical Costs
An alliance between Kaiser Permanente and the State Compensation Insurance Fund is "significantly" reducing workers' compensation medical treatment costs, according to a new Ernst & Young LLP study. The study found that Kaiser's partnership with California's largest workers' compensation insurance carrier resulted in an average savings of 26% per claim. For the first 14 months of treatment, the average medical cost of work injuries treated by Kaiser was 38% less than those treated elsewhere. The study also found that the average length of disability was reduced from 76 days to 66 days. A separate survey found that overall satisfaction with the alliance is high. "The study validates that the Alliance program is providing high quality care to injured workers and has the potential to save millions of dollars for employers across California," said Arnis Tubelis, vice president of the State Fund. The Ernst & Young study found these savings could have significance for the state's economy because workers' comp medical treatment costs are a major factor in the cost of doing business in California. The alliance currently covers 4,300 employers and some 133,000 employees statewide (release, 7/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.