Report: Inpatient Hospitalizations for Workers’ Compensation Claims Costs Have Fallen in California

According to a report from the Claims Journal, inpatient hospitalizations for workers’ compensation cases are down approximately 50% in California from 2012 to 2022. The change is driven by several different factors, including a drop in overall workers’ compensation claims and an overall increase in outpatient procedures. Within this article, our Bakersfield workers’ compensation defense lawyer provides a more detailed overview of the report.

CWCI Study: In-Patient Workers’ Compensation Costs Dropped Dramatically from 2012 to 2022

The California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI) published the results of a comprehensive report on inpatient hospitalizations for workers’ compensation cases in the state over the past decade. The study—which analyzed nearly 30 million inpatient stays from 2012 to 2022—revealed a significant decline in workers’ compensation inpatient stays. The total number dropped from 21,505 in 2012 down to 10,516 in 2022. This 11-year span saw a total decrease of 51.1%.

An Overview of the Reasons Why the Authors Believe Inpatient Hospitalizations Fell

The authors attribute the decline in inpatient hospitalizations under workers’ compensation to several key factors. Here is an overview of the reasons why the authors believe that the number of inpatient hospitalizations for workers’ compensation fell so sharply in California over the last decade:

  • Reduced Workers’ Compensation Claims Volume: To start, the reduced volume of workers’ compensation claims plays a significant role. Over the last decade, there have been some notable improvements in workplace safety in California. Work injury claims volume is down. Of course, employers can benefit from putting strong safety practices in place to reduce the risk of accidents at their workplace.
  • Adoption of Utilization Review Regulations: Next, the adoption of utilization review (UR) regulations has significantly impacted the number of inpatient hospital stays. UR processes evaluate the necessity of medical services—thereby ensuring that hospital admissions and treatments are medically justified. CWCI assesses that these regulations have led to more rigorous scrutiny of the need for inpatient services.
  • More Availability and Better Outpatient Services: The availability of better and more accessible outpatient services has also contributed to the decrease in inpatient hospitalizations. Advances in medical technology and treatment methods have expanded the possibilities for outpatient care, allowing many conditions that previously required hospital stays to be treated on an outpatient basis.
  • Major Drop in Number of Spinal Fusions: Finally, a major drop in the number of spinal fusions—a complex surgery—has been observed. The decline in spinal fusion surgeries can be attributed to a combination of factors, including increased scrutiny of surgical indications, the adoption of alternative pain management and treatment strategies, and improvements in non-surgical interventions.

Call Our Bakersfield, CA Workers’ Compensation Defense Attorney Today

At Yrulegui & Roberts, we are a law firm that is devoted to the practice of workers’ compensation defense. Our team solves legal issues for employers, claims administrators, and insurance companies. Call us now or connect with us online to arrange your completely confidential case review. We defend workers’ compensation cases in Bakersfield, Kern County, and beyond.