Fact or Fiction:      Texas' safety record is better than most states:    Fact    In 2004, Texas' rate of on-the-job injuries was 3.7 per 100 full-time workers. This is a full point below the national injury rate (4.8 per 100).

(Source: United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Fact or Fiction:      Texas' medical costs per workers' comp. claim are much higher than most other states and are rising:    Fact     A 2004 comparison of 12 states found Texas had the highest average medical payment per claim for claims with more than seven days lost time from work. Texas' average ($9,314) was almost 40 percent higher than the median of these 12 states.  The comparison included such large economically competitive states as California, Florida, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

(Source: Workers' Compensation Research Institute, 2004; SSC Report, p.29).

Further, the average medical cost of a workers' compensation claim in Texas increased almost 35 percent between 1999 and 2003.

(Source: Texas Department of Insurance Workers' Compensation Research Group, 2004: SSC Report, p. 41).

Fact or Fiction:    Higher medical costs in Texas are fueled by higher rates per procedure performed:   Fiction    Texas ranks at or near the top in the state-to-state comparisons across a broad range of types of care; Texas workers' visit an average of almost 15 more times than workers in the median state.

(Source:   Workers' Compensation Research Institute, 2004; SSC Report, p. 30)

Fact or Fiction:    For the first time ever measured, more employers are participating in Workers' Compensation:   Fiction    In 2001, 65 percent of Texas employers purchased workers' compensation coverage. In 2004, the percentage dropped to 62 percent, and with that decrease in employer participation came an 8 percent drop in the percentage of employees covered by workers' comp (frm 84 percent 2001 to 76 percent in 2004).

(Source: Texas Department of Insurance Workers' Compensation Research Group, 2004; SSC Report, p/ 22-23).

Fact or Fiction:      Texas injured workers spend more time off work and are less likely to return to work than workers in other states:  Fact    A 2003 study found that more than a third of injured workers surveyed two to three years' post-injury were not working.

(Source: research and Oversight Council on Workers' Compensation, 2003; SSC Report, p. 50).

In comparison of workers in four states (Texas, California, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts) Texas workers reported the worst physical recoveries from their injuries and were the least likely to substantially return to work (to return for more than one month).

(Source: Workers' Compensation Research Institute, 2003; SSC Report, p.49).

Fact or Fiction:    Because of  poor return to work timeframes and rates, Texas pays income benefits for longer periods of time:   Fact    In the 12-state comparison, Texas ranked first in the duration of temporary disability benefits (18 weeks vs. a median of 14 for all states) and had the second-highest frequency of claims missing at least seven days of work (26 percent vs. a median of 21 percent).

(Source: Texas Department of Insurance Workers' Compensation Research Group, 2003; SSC Report, p. 48).

Fact or Fiction:    The percentage of medical treatments denied by insurance carriers has decreased:   Fiction    In 2000, in the ten largest carriers in the state denied 21.9 percent of services; in 2003, it was 26.9 percent.

(Source: Texas Department of Insurance Workers' Compensation Research Group, 2004; SSC Report, p.61).

Fact or Fiction:   Fewer Texas doctors will see workers' compensation patients: Fact   More than 30,000 doctors were on the TWCC Approved Doctors List in 2003; only about 17,000 are on the list today.

(Source: Texas Workers' Compensation Commission, 2004; SSC Report, p. 157-159).

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