Saturday, November 17, 2007

Study: Injured Older Workers Less Likely to Seek Emergency Room Treatment

A study released by National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc.(NCCI) shows that younger workers (ages 20–34) use the emergency room on a higher percentage of claims than do older workers (ages 45–64). Analyzing worker's compensation data on claims submitted between 1996 and 2003, the study--"Younger Workers vs. Older Workers Going to the Emergency Room: Explaining Differences in Utilization and Price" (Fall 2007)--found that hospital that the younger workers are 17% more likely to visit a hospital ER than are the older employees. In addition, the share of ER claims to total claims was 5.9% greater for younger workers. The authors suggest that a possible reason for the difference is that younger workers are less likely than older workers to have medical insurance and, therefore, a regular doctor.

The NCCI study also tried to gauge whether there were age-related differences in costs for ER procedures. However, the prevalence of “bundled” charges in hospital billing precluded a complete analysis of payment per service between
younger workers and older workers. Where individual procedures could be clearly identified (for medical examinations in the ER), age-related “price” differences were generally low.

Source: National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. What's New (November 14, 2007)

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