Florida: Regulator cites need for reforms in rate hike decision
The order by Kevin McCarty was officially a denial of the rate filing until NCCI readjusts several technical issues. But the commissioner said the rate-making agency successfully made its case for the hike.
"NCCI has provided sufficient evidence to support a rate increase based on a variety of cost factors experienced in the marketplace," McCarty said. "Even with this rate increase, Florida's rates are still 56 percent below the rates prior to the 2003 reforms and are competitive with other states nationally."
The increase, to take effect in January, would be the third in as many years. They followed seven consecutive years of rate decreases, resulting from the 2003 legislative reforms.
During a hearing last month, NCCI said rates could be reduced substantially by addressing physician drug dispensing and bringing Florida's costs in line with other states for in-patient hospital, out-patient hospital, and ambulatory care center reimbursements.
The Workers Compensation Research Institute testified that physician-dispensed prescription drugs represent 45 percent of all workers' comp prescriptions in Florida, and the state has the second-highest percent of prescriptions that were physician dispensed for workers' comp patients among 23 states studied. NCCI said addressing that issue could drive rates down by 1.1 percent. Another 5.5 percent rate decline could result by bringing other costs in line with those of other states, NCCI said.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
December 6, 2012
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