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Workers' Compensation & Managed Care

Developing Data Collection Strategy


Phillip S. Borba, Ph.D., Senior Consultant, Milliman & Robertson, New York, NY.

In earlier sessions, presenters discussed the difficulty of evaluating workers' compensation systems due to the limited amount of useful and consistent workers' compensation data available. Dr. Phillip Borba outlined a strategy for the collection of data to monitor and evaluate the impact of a variety of workers' compensation initiatives, such as:

  • Managed care.
  • Case management services.
  • Medical fee schedules.
  • Return-to-work programs.

Designing and implementing these monitoring and evaluation efforts involves several steps, including designing the overall strategy, forming the important questions, identifying data sources and the data elements to be extracted from data sources, and analyzing the compiled data. Like some of the other evaluations discussed in earlier sessions, this strategy can be limited by the variations in data reporting from the different entities involved.

There are also several other technical challenges for this strategy, including:

  • Time lags of several months between the time of service and the entry of the data into computer systems
  • Difficulties in comparing the experience of control groups and experimental groups, when workers' experiences often occur in different time periods or geographic areas or with different employers.

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