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The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) is undertaking several activities to better understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Workers Compensation system. One action is monitoring several medical data-related metrics, which were developed to provide insight into the effect of COVID-19 on several aspects of the medical system as it relates to WC.

These metrics track quarterly results over time, allowing it to compare the data before the onset of the pandemic and workers compensation medical experience thereafter. Looking at the first two quarters of 2020, it identified general demographics and cost characteristics of claims having COVID-19 medical treatments.

In it’s recent article NCCI shares some of the aggregated-multi-state results for these metrics including data from the first and second quarter of 2020.

Some of the conclusions of the report show:

Hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) treatment are key cost indicators of COVID-19 claims.
— Overall active claim volume decreased during 2Q20.
Increased use of telemedicine in 2Q20, to varying degrees across states.
Evaluation and management and physical medicine show a decrease in the utilization of in-person services in 2Q20.
— The share of claims with surgery has remained steady, but the decreased intensity of surgery procedures seems to reflect a change in injuries or surgery mix.
Drug share of medical costs took an upward turn, in part driven by increased utilization of opioids.

While it is too early to fully assess the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the WC system, NCCI is beginning to identify the medical aspects of the system that are likely to be affected.

Furthermore, the measures of the potential indirect impact of the pandemic on medical services provided to all injured workers in the first two quarters of 2020, at first blush, do not show evidence of substantial disruption.

As data emerges, future updates to these metrics will be available on A medical data dashboard will include state-specific results, allowing the user to compare a state’s experience to a multi-state benchmark.