Workers' Compensation Medical Costs: Reforms that Make a Difference


Michael Warner
Conning, Inc.

(Hartford, CT) October 6, 2014—Recent states workers’ compensation reforms have attempted to reduce system-wide costs, benefiting employees, employers, and insurers, although with varying degrees of success, according to a new study by Conning.

“While recent workers’ compensation underwriting results have certainly improved, we expect a more challenging environment for insurers over the next few years,” said Gerard Vecchio, analyst at Conning. “As insurers struggle with appropriate responses to this changing market, we analyzed recent state reform initiatives for those that have proven successful. In examining these reforms and insurer performance, Conning concluded that reforms including employer-directed care, limitations on prescription drugs and objective standards of medical care had produced some of the most meaningful cost savings.”

The Conning study, “Workers’ Compensation Medical Costs: Reforms that Make a Difference” focuses on those medical and pharmaceutical case management practices, prescription drug dispensing processes, and medical cost management reforms where the workers’ compensation industry has been most successful in reducing operating expenditures.

“Our analysis focused on results in the 20 largest workers’ compensation states, accounting for 80 percent of the national premium volume,” said Steve Webersen, director of research at Conning. “Even similar reforms produced different results based on implementation, while others resulted in unintended consequences. Clearly, insurers that have a thorough understanding of individual state reforms are better positioned to realize cost savings and facilitate improved outcomes for injured workers.”

“Workers Compensation Medical Costs: Reforms that Make a Difference” is available for purchase from Conning by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting the company’s web site at

About Conning

Conning ( is a leading investment management company for the global insurance industry, with almost $92 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2014 through Conning, Inc., Conning Asset Management Limited, Cathay Conning Asset Management Limited, and Goodwin Capital Advisers, Inc. Conning’s unique combination of asset management, risk and capital management solutions and insurance research helps clients achieve their financial goals through customized business and investment strategies. Founded in 1912, Conning is focused on the future, providing clients with innovative solutions, leveraging its global capabilities, investment experience, and proprietary research. Conning is headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, with additional offices in New York, London, Cologne, and Hong Kong.