What does Workers’ Compensation Cost in Louisiana?

In recent months, Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera issued an informational report which detailed just how expensive private-sector claims can be to Louisiana. According to the report, “the overall cost per claim . . . was more than $53,500, compared to the 16-state median of $36,188.00.” These costs take into account medical expenses, loss of time, and litigation expenses. The report attributes the high cost of these claims to “unlimited temporary disability benefits, an increase in the amount of time workers are off the job, the use of an outdated fee schedule to reimburse providers . . . a costly dispute-resolution process, and the lack of a list of approved drugs.” In an effort to control some of these expenses, the report recommends restricting the amount of time an employee can collect temporary disability benefit. For example, Texas and Florida limit temporary benefits to 104 weeks whereas North and South Carolina limit benefits to 500 weeks. A second recommendation highlights Louisiana’s outdated medical fee schedule, which has purportedly been updated only twice since 1992. Similarly, a list of approved prescription drugs would reduce both costs and abuse. Overall, the report’s purpose was to allow Louisiana lawmakers a study by which they could evaluate the costs and controls of compensation claims. Whether the lawmakers implement the recommendations is yet to be determined.  More information may be found here.