Study: Hospital Outpatient Costs Lower in States With Fixed Fee Schedules

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The Workers Compensation Research Institute has found that states with workers' compensation fee schedules based on a percent of charges have higher hospital outpatient costs compared with states that have fixed-amount fee schedules.

Fixed-amount fee schedules are those that reimburse specific amounts to hospitals for each procedure or group of procedures, similar to fee-for-service. In states that paid hospital outpatient fees based on a percent of charges, such as Florida and North Carolina, outpatient costs were up to 91 percent higher than the median costs of states with fixed-amount fee schedules.

In addition, hospital outpatient costs were 39 to 98 percent higher in states that had no fee schedules for workers' compensation compared with states that had fixed-amount fee schedules.  

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