Limits...
Impairment rating ambiguity in the United States: the Utah Impairment Guides for calculating workers' compensation impairments.

Colledge A, Hunter B, Bunkall LD, Holmes EB - J. Korean Med. Sci. (2009)

Bottom Line: The Utah Supplemental Guides to the AMA Guides have been effective in increasing consistency in rating impairment.It is estimated that litigation of permanent impairment has fallen below 1% and Utah is now one of the least costly states for obtaining workers' compensation insurance, while maintaining a medical fee schedule above the national average.Utah's guides serve as a model for national or international impairment guides.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Orthopaedic, Central Utah Clinic, Labor Commission of Utah, Utah 84111, USA. acolledge@utah.gov

ABSTRACT
Since the implementation of workers' compensation, accurately and consistently rating impairment has been a concern for the employee and employer, as well as rating physicians. In an attempt to standardize and classify impairments, the American Medical Association (AMA) publishes the AMA Guides ("Guides"), and recently published its 6th edition of the AMA Guides. Common critiques of the AMA Guides 6th edition are that they are too complex, lacking in evidence-based methods, and rarely yield consistent ratings. Many states mandate use of some edition of the AMA Guides, but few states are adopting the current edition due to the increasing difficulty and frustration with their implementation. A clearer, simpler approach is needed. Some states have begun to develop their own supplemental guides to combat problems in complexity and validity. Likewise studies in Korea show that past methods for rating impairment are outdated and inconsistent, and call for measures to adapt current methods to Korea's specific needs. The Utah Supplemental Guides to the AMA Guides have been effective in increasing consistency in rating impairment. It is estimated that litigation of permanent impairment has fallen below 1% and Utah is now one of the least costly states for obtaining workers' compensation insurance, while maintaining a medical fee schedule above the national average. Utah's guides serve as a model for national or international impairment guides.

Show MeSH
This figure demonstrates the State of Utah's average costs per 100,000 workers related to permanent partial impairment in comparison to several other states in the western United States. The left-hand coordinate measures total costs in millions of U.S. dollars. The right-hand coordinate represents individual states.UT, Utah; CA, California; CO, Colorado; MT, Montana; NV, Nevada, NM, New Mexico; OR, Oregon; REG AVG Ex CA, Regular average excluding California; CW, weighted average of states excluding california.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2690067&req=5

Figure 4: This figure demonstrates the State of Utah's average costs per 100,000 workers related to permanent partial impairment in comparison to several other states in the western United States. The left-hand coordinate measures total costs in millions of U.S. dollars. The right-hand coordinate represents individual states.UT, Utah; CA, California; CO, Colorado; MT, Montana; NV, Nevada, NM, New Mexico; OR, Oregon; REG AVG Ex CA, Regular average excluding California; CW, weighted average of states excluding california.

Mentions: As previously noted, benefits have been realized in the State of Utah by developing and utilizing specific workers' compensation impairment rating methodology. Utah has dramatically reduced litigation over impairment disputes since a revised impairment guide was adopted in 1997. It is estimated that less than 1% of claims with permanent disability have been litigated. This revision has produced a dramatic cost savings to the Utah Labor Commission based on the state's cost of $5,200 per litigated case, making Utah one of the least expensive states for an employer to obtain workers compensation insurance. This has been done while maintaining the medical fee schedule at national average (5) (Fig. 4).


Impairment rating ambiguity in the United States: the Utah Impairment Guides for calculating workers' compensation impairments.

Colledge A, Hunter B, Bunkall LD, Holmes EB - J. Korean Med. Sci. (2009)

This figure demonstrates the State of Utah's average costs per 100,000 workers related to permanent partial impairment in comparison to several other states in the western United States. The left-hand coordinate measures total costs in millions of U.S. dollars. The right-hand coordinate represents individual states.UT, Utah; CA, California; CO, Colorado; MT, Montana; NV, Nevada, NM, New Mexico; OR, Oregon; REG AVG Ex CA, Regular average excluding California; CW, weighted average of states excluding california.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2690067&req=5

Figure 4: This figure demonstrates the State of Utah's average costs per 100,000 workers related to permanent partial impairment in comparison to several other states in the western United States. The left-hand coordinate measures total costs in millions of U.S. dollars. The right-hand coordinate represents individual states.UT, Utah; CA, California; CO, Colorado; MT, Montana; NV, Nevada, NM, New Mexico; OR, Oregon; REG AVG Ex CA, Regular average excluding California; CW, weighted average of states excluding california.
Mentions: As previously noted, benefits have been realized in the State of Utah by developing and utilizing specific workers' compensation impairment rating methodology. Utah has dramatically reduced litigation over impairment disputes since a revised impairment guide was adopted in 1997. It is estimated that less than 1% of claims with permanent disability have been litigated. This revision has produced a dramatic cost savings to the Utah Labor Commission based on the state's cost of $5,200 per litigated case, making Utah one of the least expensive states for an employer to obtain workers compensation insurance. This has been done while maintaining the medical fee schedule at national average (5) (Fig. 4).

Bottom Line: The Utah Supplemental Guides to the AMA Guides have been effective in increasing consistency in rating impairment.It is estimated that litigation of permanent impairment has fallen below 1% and Utah is now one of the least costly states for obtaining workers' compensation insurance, while maintaining a medical fee schedule above the national average.Utah's guides serve as a model for national or international impairment guides.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Orthopaedic, Central Utah Clinic, Labor Commission of Utah, Utah 84111, USA. acolledge@utah.gov

ABSTRACT
Since the implementation of workers' compensation, accurately and consistently rating impairment has been a concern for the employee and employer, as well as rating physicians. In an attempt to standardize and classify impairments, the American Medical Association (AMA) publishes the AMA Guides ("Guides"), and recently published its 6th edition of the AMA Guides. Common critiques of the AMA Guides 6th edition are that they are too complex, lacking in evidence-based methods, and rarely yield consistent ratings. Many states mandate use of some edition of the AMA Guides, but few states are adopting the current edition due to the increasing difficulty and frustration with their implementation. A clearer, simpler approach is needed. Some states have begun to develop their own supplemental guides to combat problems in complexity and validity. Likewise studies in Korea show that past methods for rating impairment are outdated and inconsistent, and call for measures to adapt current methods to Korea's specific needs. The Utah Supplemental Guides to the AMA Guides have been effective in increasing consistency in rating impairment. It is estimated that litigation of permanent impairment has fallen below 1% and Utah is now one of the least costly states for obtaining workers' compensation insurance, while maintaining a medical fee schedule above the national average. Utah's guides serve as a model for national or international impairment guides.

Show MeSH