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The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) released the 2019 WCIRB Geo Study, which underscores regional differences in claim characteristics across California. The web-based interactive map allows you to quickly view key measures across regions.

The study’s key findings include the following:

— Even after controlling for regional differences in wages and industrial mix, indemnity claim frequency is significantly higher in the Los Angeles Basin and significantly lower in the San Francisco Bay Area.

— Regional differences in indemnity claim frequency have been fairly consistent over time and across industries. The LA/Long Beach region has had the highest frequency, and the Peninsula/Silicon Valley region has had the lowest frequency during all available years. The difference between these regions has grown in each of the last two years. Since 2013, the largest improvement in relative indemnity claim frequency is in the Fresno/Madera region, and the greatest deterioration has been in Orange County and the Imperial/Riverside region.

— Regional differences in severity are more muted than in frequency. Even after controlling for regional differences in industrial mix, limited average incurred on indemnity claims is highest in the San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura regions and lowest in the San Bernardino/West Riverside region.

Pharmaceutical costs throughout the state have dropped dramatically over the last several years, and the prevalence of opioid prescriptions for claims with pharmaceutical payments has also dropped dramatically. The largest decreases in pharmaceutical costs have occurred in Southern California regions, which had the highest pharmaceutical spending at the beginning of the study period. This has decreased the differences in pharmaceutical costs across regions over time.

— The share of cumulative trauma claims as a percent of all claims is much higher in the Los Angeles Basin than in other parts of the state, and that gap has generally widened over time.

— Both medical-legal costs and paid allocated loss adjustment expenses (ALAE) are significantly higher in the Bakersfield and Los Angeles Basin regions than in the remainder of the state.

— The share of open indemnity claims has decreased substantially in all regions since 2013. The largest decreases have been experienced in the Los Angeles Basin regions that had the highest initial open indemnity claim shares. These changes have narrowed regional differences over time.

— Incurred loss development regional differences observed were relatively modest. In general, development appeared higher than average in more urban areas, with the highest in the Los Angeles/Long Beach region and the lowest in the Fresno/Madera region.