Effectiveness of employer financial incentives in reducing time to report worker injury: An interrupted time series study of two Australian workers' compensation jurisdictions

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Background Early intervention following occupational injury can improve health outcomes and reduce the duration and cost of workers' compensation claims. Financial early reporting incentives (ERIs) for employers may shorten the time between injury and access to compensation benefits and services. We examined ERI effect on time spent in the claim lodgement process in two Australian states: South Australia (SA), which introduced them in January 2009, and Tasmania (TAS), which introduced them in July 2010. Methods Using administrative records of 1.47 million claims lodged between July 2006 and June 2012, we conducted an interrupted time series study of ERI impact on monthly median days in the claim lodgement process. Time periods included claim reporting, insurer decision, and total time. The 18-month gap in implementation between the states allowed for a multiple baseline design. In SA, we analysed periods within claim reporting: worker and employer reporting times (similar data were not available in TAS). To account for external threats to validity, we examined impact in reference to a comparator of other Australian workers' compensation jurisdictions. Results Total time in the process did not immediately change, though trend significantly decreased in both jurisdictions (SA: -0.36 days per month, 95% CI -0.63 to -0.09; TAS: 0.35, -0.50 to -0.20). Claim reporting time also decreased in both (SA: -1.6 days, -2.4 to -0.8; TAS: -5.4, -7.4 to -3.3). In TAS, there was a significant increase in insurer decision time (4.6, 3.9 to 5.4) and a similar but non-significant pattern in SA. In SA, worker reporting time significantly decreased (-4.7, -5.8 to -3.5), but employer reporting time did not (-0.3, -0.8 to 0.2). Conclusions The results suggest that ERIs reduced claim lodgement time and, in the long-term, reduced total time in the claim lodgement process. However, only worker reporting time significantly decreased in SA, indicating that ERIs may not have shortened the process through the intended target of employer reporting time. Lack of similar data in Tasmania limited our ability to determine whether this was a result of ERIs or another component of the legislative changes. Further, increases in insurer decision time highlight possible unintended negative effects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number100
    Number of pages10
    JournalBMC Public Health
    Volume18
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2018

    Keywords

    • Claim delays
    • Claim lodgement process
    • Interrupted time series
    • Occupational health
    • Workers' compensation policy

    Cite this

    @article{7025a5b4b3024ecf94884226be6eb7bb,
    title = "Effectiveness of employer financial incentives in reducing time to report worker injury: An interrupted time series study of two Australian workers' compensation jurisdictions",
    abstract = "Background Early intervention following occupational injury can improve health outcomes and reduce the duration and cost of workers' compensation claims. Financial early reporting incentives (ERIs) for employers may shorten the time between injury and access to compensation benefits and services. We examined ERI effect on time spent in the claim lodgement process in two Australian states: South Australia (SA), which introduced them in January 2009, and Tasmania (TAS), which introduced them in July 2010. Methods Using administrative records of 1.47 million claims lodged between July 2006 and June 2012, we conducted an interrupted time series study of ERI impact on monthly median days in the claim lodgement process. Time periods included claim reporting, insurer decision, and total time. The 18-month gap in implementation between the states allowed for a multiple baseline design. In SA, we analysed periods within claim reporting: worker and employer reporting times (similar data were not available in TAS). To account for external threats to validity, we examined impact in reference to a comparator of other Australian workers' compensation jurisdictions. Results Total time in the process did not immediately change, though trend significantly decreased in both jurisdictions (SA: -0.36 days per month, 95{\%} CI -0.63 to -0.09; TAS: 0.35, -0.50 to -0.20). Claim reporting time also decreased in both (SA: -1.6 days, -2.4 to -0.8; TAS: -5.4, -7.4 to -3.3). In TAS, there was a significant increase in insurer decision time (4.6, 3.9 to 5.4) and a similar but non-significant pattern in SA. In SA, worker reporting time significantly decreased (-4.7, -5.8 to -3.5), but employer reporting time did not (-0.3, -0.8 to 0.2). Conclusions The results suggest that ERIs reduced claim lodgement time and, in the long-term, reduced total time in the claim lodgement process. However, only worker reporting time significantly decreased in SA, indicating that ERIs may not have shortened the process through the intended target of employer reporting time. Lack of similar data in Tasmania limited our ability to determine whether this was a result of ERIs or another component of the legislative changes. Further, increases in insurer decision time highlight possible unintended negative effects.",
    keywords = "Claim delays, Claim lodgement process, Interrupted time series, Occupational health, Workers' compensation policy",
    author = "Lane, {Tyler J.} and Shannon Gray and {Hassani Mahmooei}, Behrooz and Alex Collie",
    year = "2018",
    month = "1",
    day = "5",
    doi = "10.1186/s12889-017-4998-9",
    language = "English",
    volume = "18",
    journal = "BMC Public Health",
    issn = "1471-2458",
    publisher = "BioMed Central",
    number = "1",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Effectiveness of employer financial incentives in reducing time to report worker injury

    T2 - An interrupted time series study of two Australian workers' compensation jurisdictions

    AU - Lane, Tyler J.

    AU - Gray, Shannon

    AU - Hassani Mahmooei, Behrooz

    AU - Collie, Alex

    PY - 2018/1/5

    Y1 - 2018/1/5

    N2 - Background Early intervention following occupational injury can improve health outcomes and reduce the duration and cost of workers' compensation claims. Financial early reporting incentives (ERIs) for employers may shorten the time between injury and access to compensation benefits and services. We examined ERI effect on time spent in the claim lodgement process in two Australian states: South Australia (SA), which introduced them in January 2009, and Tasmania (TAS), which introduced them in July 2010. Methods Using administrative records of 1.47 million claims lodged between July 2006 and June 2012, we conducted an interrupted time series study of ERI impact on monthly median days in the claim lodgement process. Time periods included claim reporting, insurer decision, and total time. The 18-month gap in implementation between the states allowed for a multiple baseline design. In SA, we analysed periods within claim reporting: worker and employer reporting times (similar data were not available in TAS). To account for external threats to validity, we examined impact in reference to a comparator of other Australian workers' compensation jurisdictions. Results Total time in the process did not immediately change, though trend significantly decreased in both jurisdictions (SA: -0.36 days per month, 95% CI -0.63 to -0.09; TAS: 0.35, -0.50 to -0.20). Claim reporting time also decreased in both (SA: -1.6 days, -2.4 to -0.8; TAS: -5.4, -7.4 to -3.3). In TAS, there was a significant increase in insurer decision time (4.6, 3.9 to 5.4) and a similar but non-significant pattern in SA. In SA, worker reporting time significantly decreased (-4.7, -5.8 to -3.5), but employer reporting time did not (-0.3, -0.8 to 0.2). Conclusions The results suggest that ERIs reduced claim lodgement time and, in the long-term, reduced total time in the claim lodgement process. However, only worker reporting time significantly decreased in SA, indicating that ERIs may not have shortened the process through the intended target of employer reporting time. Lack of similar data in Tasmania limited our ability to determine whether this was a result of ERIs or another component of the legislative changes. Further, increases in insurer decision time highlight possible unintended negative effects.

    AB - Background Early intervention following occupational injury can improve health outcomes and reduce the duration and cost of workers' compensation claims. Financial early reporting incentives (ERIs) for employers may shorten the time between injury and access to compensation benefits and services. We examined ERI effect on time spent in the claim lodgement process in two Australian states: South Australia (SA), which introduced them in January 2009, and Tasmania (TAS), which introduced them in July 2010. Methods Using administrative records of 1.47 million claims lodged between July 2006 and June 2012, we conducted an interrupted time series study of ERI impact on monthly median days in the claim lodgement process. Time periods included claim reporting, insurer decision, and total time. The 18-month gap in implementation between the states allowed for a multiple baseline design. In SA, we analysed periods within claim reporting: worker and employer reporting times (similar data were not available in TAS). To account for external threats to validity, we examined impact in reference to a comparator of other Australian workers' compensation jurisdictions. Results Total time in the process did not immediately change, though trend significantly decreased in both jurisdictions (SA: -0.36 days per month, 95% CI -0.63 to -0.09; TAS: 0.35, -0.50 to -0.20). Claim reporting time also decreased in both (SA: -1.6 days, -2.4 to -0.8; TAS: -5.4, -7.4 to -3.3). In TAS, there was a significant increase in insurer decision time (4.6, 3.9 to 5.4) and a similar but non-significant pattern in SA. In SA, worker reporting time significantly decreased (-4.7, -5.8 to -3.5), but employer reporting time did not (-0.3, -0.8 to 0.2). Conclusions The results suggest that ERIs reduced claim lodgement time and, in the long-term, reduced total time in the claim lodgement process. However, only worker reporting time significantly decreased in SA, indicating that ERIs may not have shortened the process through the intended target of employer reporting time. Lack of similar data in Tasmania limited our ability to determine whether this was a result of ERIs or another component of the legislative changes. Further, increases in insurer decision time highlight possible unintended negative effects.

    KW - Claim delays

    KW - Claim lodgement process

    KW - Interrupted time series

    KW - Occupational health

    KW - Workers' compensation policy

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    U2 - 10.1186/s12889-017-4998-9

    DO - 10.1186/s12889-017-4998-9

    M3 - Article

    VL - 18

    JO - BMC Public Health

    JF - BMC Public Health

    SN - 1471-2458

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    M1 - 100

    ER -