- What is the state of access to medical care among injured workers in California?
The California workers' compensation program provides medical care and indemnity benefits to workers who suffer on-the-job injuries or illnesses. California law mandates an annual assessment of whether injured workers in the state have adequate access to quality care, and the RAND Corporation was asked to help answer that question over three years.
The key objective of this Year 3 report is to describe access to medical care among injured workers in California using medical billing data from Version 2.0 of the Workers' Compensation Information System. Overall, the estimates using such data suggest stability or slight improvements in most measures analyzed when compared with the Year 2 estimates.
Year 3 estimates suggest stability or slight improvements in most measures when compared with the Year 2 estimates
- Overall, the estimates using the Version 2.0 data for 2016 were relatively similar to those presented in the Year 2 report, although the authors did not test for statistical differences resulting from differences in the samples used.
- There were 76,950 unique providers serving injured workers in 2016, and the most common specialties were internal medicine, physical therapist, physician assistant/nurse practitioner, emergency medicine, and family medicine/general practice.
- Across all specialties, providers had, on average, 29.4 claims each during 2016 and delivered 208.1 medical services per claim. The total annual payment per provider was $24,440, and the payment per claim was $1,306.
- There was significant variation by region and county across all measures.
- The median time between injury and first evaluation and management visit was 2 days. The median time between injury and first evaluation and management visit with a primary care provider in a non–emergency department setting was 6 days.
The research described in this report was sponsored by the California Department of Industrial Relations and conducted by the Justice Policy Program within RAND Social and Economic Well-Being.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.