Although there are no uniform performance reports to permit comparisons, a survey found that a majority of workers' compensation managed care organizations (MCOs) collect data on performance.
This finding just released by URAC (also know as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission).
The survey was designed to collect information on the availability of data for reporting on health care quality.
"URAC believes that performance information will help both employers and patients make better choices about workers' compensation managed care," said Garry Carneal, URAC president and CEO.
According to the Department of Labor, there were 6.1 million injuries and illnesses reported in private industry workplaces in 1997, 2.9 million of which led to lost workdays.
The use of managed care arrangements has increased in workers' compensation in recent years as part of an effort to control costs and improve outcomes.
URAC mailed questionnaires to 200 companies selected from the Business Information Services Directory of Workers' Compensation MCOs.
The survey looked at availability of data to support MCO reporting on the quality of medical care they provide. It also examined the type of performance reports now used by MCOs.
Some of the study findings included the following statistics.
- Forty-eight percent of the MCOs measure disability-related performance or outcomes.
- Fifty-seven percent of the MCOs collect data on patient satisfaction.
- Thirty-six percent of the MCOs have a method to monitor patient access to health care service.
- Thirty-two percent of the MCOs collect functional status information on patients.
According to Liza Greenberg, URAC vice president of research and quality initiatives, "URAC does not claim the survey findings are representative of the entire workers' compensation managed care industry. However the data does provide a snapshot of data collection and analysis capacity among MCOs."