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Rebecca Yang

Dr. Rebecca Yang is a senior public policy analyst at the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute. She is one of...

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Alan Pierce

Alan S. Pierce has served as chairperson of the American Bar Association Worker’s Compensation Section and the Massachusetts Bar...

Workers Comp Matters host Alan Pierce attended the 2015 Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) Annual Issues & Research Conference in March. While there, he interviewed Rebecca Yang, who presented ‘The Perverse Effects of Low Fee Schedules.’ A fee schedule, as described by Yang, is the state’s maximum allowable reimbursement rates to medical providers (doctors or hospitals). The presentation examines the adverse effects of freezing fee schedules, reducing fee schedules, and low fee schedules in workers’ compensation.

In this episode of Workers Comp Matters, Pierce and Yang discuss low and high fee schedules, how workers’ compensation fee schedule rates compare with Medicare and group health reimbursement rates, and why lower rates do not necessarily result in lower overall costs. Yang explains how lack of access to care, indemnity benefits, and litigation can lead to higher workers’ compensation costs when fee schedules are set too low. Additionally, in some jurisdictions, medical providers have recovered costs through physician dispensing, changing treatment or billing behavior, and denying care to workers’ comp patients. However, Yang says, if the fee schedule level is too high, there is a problem of medical cost containment. Tune in to hear more about the importance of carefully balancing fee schedule rates for workers’ compensation.

Dr. Rebecca Yang is a senior public policy analyst at the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute. She is one of the lead authors of Compscope, which studies the benchmark performance of state workers’ compensation systems. Yang has co-authored numerous studies that examine the prices paid for medical services in workers’ compensation across the states, including the medical price index and various other cost indices. She conducts research on the effect of fee schedule reforms in particular states such as Illinois and California. She is a lead technical expert for Compscope and she received her PhD from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Special thanks to our sponsors, Casepacer and PInow.


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Episode Details
Published: May 27, 2015
Podcast: Workers Comp Matters
Category: Medical Law
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Workers Comp Matters
Workers Comp Matters

Workers' Comp Matters encompasses all aspects of workers' compensation from cases and benefits to recovery.

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