Research Roundup

August 13th, 2014 by Julie Ferguson

Summer reading! Here’s a roundup of links to a variety of recent studies and reports that we find noteworthy – some that haven’t received wide circulation.
Mathematica: Risk Factors Associated with Disability Following Work-Related Injuries (PDF)
Nan L. Maxwell and Nathan Wozny of Mathematica Policy Research have issued a study on work-related disability using a previously untapped database — administrative data on claims filed under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) — to show how risk factors underlying disability following a work-related injury differ across groups defined by demographics, employment characteristics, and injury type (that is, injury or illness). Differences exist in three areas: the probability of incurring an injury, the probability of incurring a disability once an injury has occurred, and the size of the association between a risk factor and the probability of incurring a disability. This heterogeneity was previously undetected in narrower data sources and highlights the importance of tailoring efforts to identify and support individuals at – risk of disability to the population of interest.
NASI: State Policies on Provider Market Power (PDF)
The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) and Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR) issued a comprehensive evaluation of state laws addressing the power of health care providers to negotiate higher prices, cataloging the laws and regulations state governments are using to maintain or increase competition in health care markets, which the recent wave of mergers among hospitals and other consolidation among providers has significantly reduced. See the press release for a summary.
Health Affairs: Price Transparency For MRIs Increased Use Of Less Costly Providers And Triggered Provider Competition
Covered by Sarah Kliff in Vox, When health care prices stop being hidden, and start getting real
“That lack of transparency in health prices partially explains why there is huge variation in what doctors charge for the exact same service. An appendectomy can cost anywhere between $15,000 and $186,000. Doctors don’t usually feel the need to make their prices competitive when shoppers can’t see them.
Over the past two years the Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans have been running a quiet experiment, to see what would happen if prices became available in some cities but not others. And they found that just the act of making prices available can have a really dramatic impact on what they had to spend to get patients a very basic procedure.”
AECOM: Alcohol Use Disorders Linked to Decreased ‘Work Trajectory’
Workers with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are more likely to have a flat or declining “work trajectory,” reports a study in the July Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).
The Influences of Obesity and Age on Functional Performance During Intermittent Upper Extremity Tasks
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Lora A. Cavuotoa* & Maury A. Nussbaumb. In this study, the main and interactive effects of obesity and age on functional performance were assessed during intermittent exertions involving the upper extremity.
Multiple jobholding in states in 2013
Monthly Labor Review presents data on the multiple-jobholding rate, or the percentage of individuals who hold more than one job, by state and region.
And two not-to-be missed reports we’ve previously noted:
NCCI: Workers Compensation Claim Frequency–2014 Update
According to preliminary estimates, workers compensation lost-time claim frequency declined by a relatively modest 2% in Accident Year 2013. The Great Recession of 2007-2009, which was the most serious and long lasting economic contraction since the Great Depression, had a considerable effect on claim frequency changes. Frequency increased in Accident Year 2010 and has declined in each subsequent accident year.
WCRI: 8 revealing state studies on workers compensation
WCRI has issued eight new state-specific studies identified new predictors of worker outcomes that can help public officials, payors, and health care providers improve the treatment and communication and injured worker receives after and injury – leading to better outcomes.
Bill Coffin looks at data and results of Phase 1, covering Indiana, Massachusetts, MIchigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.