Minnesota tops list of best performing WC systems
Minnesota boasts the top performing workers' compensation system in the country, according a report by the Work Loss Data Institute.
The organization recently issued its 2010 State Report Cards for Workers' Comp, which tracks trends and assigns states a grade and tier ranking based on their performance from 2000-07. Forty-three states are covered in the latest report, plus Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
According to the report, Minnesota performed the best of all the states for 2007, with Nevada and Arizona coming in a close second and third. All three states received a grade of A+ based on an average of their 2007 scores in the five categories. Puerto Rico came in last, with Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey very close to the bottom.
About the study. For the report, the Work Loss Data Institute utilizes data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Forms 200 and 300, which log all recordable injuries and illnesses among employers.The 2010 report cards provide five different outcome measures compared among the states for each year, including:
- Incidence rates. The national incidence rate for 2007 was 1.2 cases per 100 full-time workers compared to 1.8 per 100 full-time workers in 2000, reflecting a steady decline in the incidence of cases requiring time off work. The study found that for 2007 the rate varied from a low of 0.8 in the District of Columbia to highs of 2.9 in Puerto Rico and 2.6 in Hawaii.
- Cases missing work. For the U.S. as a whole, 29 percent of OSHA recordable cases required time off from work in 2007, the same as in 2000. Researchers said this percentage varied from a low of 21 percent in Utah to a high of 70 percent in Puerto Rico. The study found that the five states with the most number of cases in 2007 represented about 33 percent of total cases in the U.S. These states were California with 131,600 cases, New York with 82,700 cases, Texas with 69,300 cases, Florida with 57,800 cases, and Illinois with 47,500 cases.
- Median disability durations. For the U.S. as a whole, the median disability duration in 2007 was seven days. The 2007 data varied from a median low of five days in Arizona, Minnesota, Vermont, Virginia, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina and West Virginia to highs of 21 in Puerto Rico, 11 in Illinois, and 10 in Rhode Island, Oklahoma and New Jersey.
- Delayed recovery rate. For the U.S. overall, 25.6 percent of cases were out of work for 31 days or longer in 2007, up from 21 percent in 2000. Researchers said this is an ominous trend that has a significant impact on comp costs as well as the ability of workers to return to good health and productive endeavor. This statistic ranged from a low of 17.8 percent in Arizona to a high of 39.4 percent in Puerto Rico, 31.1 percent in Illinois, and 30.4 percent in South Carolina and California.
- Key condition of low back strain. According to the study, the No. 1 condition in 2007 was back sprains and strains, resulting in over 191,128 cases with lost workdays. The five states with the best outcomes for back strain in 2007 were Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Minnesota and Iowa. The five worst states were Puerto Rico, Illinois, Louisiana, Rhode Island and Oklahoma.
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April 22, 2010
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