Do surgery rates for Workers Comp have a geographical variation component? WCRI’s previous report seemed to infer there are difference among regions.
One has to think of rates as not meaning cost. This is the % likelihood that surgery will be performed on an injured worker.
WCRI (Workers Comp Research Institute) was kind enough to send me a copy of their webinar presentation as I had a time conflict with the original webinar. As you have likely already read in this blog, I have live-blogged many conferences over the past few years.
I decided to treat this as a live blogging even though the original webinar was on November 12th.
Geographic Variation in Surgery Rates
Thursday, November 12th from 2– 3 pm ET.
The two presenters are Dr. John Ruser (WCRI Executive Director ) and Dr. Jon Lurie,Dartmouth School of Medicine.
Some of the highlights were:
- There is a massive difference in surgery rates for Workers Comp between states
- CA has lowest rate, Oklahoma has the highest at 19%- wow!
- WC is not the only line of insurance that experiences surgery rate variability
- Local practice norms play a role
- Amount of reimbursement was one of the keys
- The same surgery rate patterns were not seen in health insurance or with knee surgery
- Oklahoma seems to be the leader in most of the back surgery rate categories
Dr Lurie – had the most amount of data on surgery rates and costs that I have ever seen in a presentation
- Internationally, the US has the highest surgery rates
- 3436 hospital service areas
- 70% of all patients are treated in the hospital in the same or nearest Zip Code
- Vertebroplasty rates were much higher in southern vs. northern states
- Surgeon enthusiasm, amount of imaging studies, and higher socioeconomic status had an increased effect on surgery rates
You can access the study here. There is a nominal charge. There were astounding statistics in the webinar. I did not want to give away too much info.