The MedRisk Blog
In November the Division of Workers’ Compensation published a proposed revision of its 2009 Lower Extremity Injury Medical treatment Guideline (Rule 17, Exhibit 6), which addresses conditions relating to the foot, ankle, knee, hip and leg. Many topics are either newly introduced or greatly expanded, including psychosocial interventions and interdisciplinary programs.
On October 20, 2015, the Louisiana Office of Workers’ Compensation Claims Administration posted a second draft of extensive amendments to the OWCA’s medical treatment guidelines, dental, hospital and medical reimbursement schedules. The proposed changes are to update the rules, guidelines and reimbursement with the ICD-10 information. It is likely that the revisions will be adopted without significant further changes.
In November 2015 the NCCI published a research brief entitled “State Differences in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Joint Injuries,” which compares variations in the diagnosis and treatment of ankle, elbow, knee and shoulder injuries across 35 jurisdictions. The study concludes that variations in treatment (especially surgery and physical medicine) utilization rather than variations in diagnosis are the principal cause of wide differences in costs among the states (Illinois and Louisiana being highest and District of Columbia and Maine being lowest) and pointed to fee schedules and treatment guidelines as possible factors needing further study.
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