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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1998 Jun;(351):74-7.

Workers compensation. Effect of state law on treatment cost and work status.

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  • 1South Jersey Hand Center PC, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002, USA.


Workers compensation legislation is regulated at a state level resulting in different benefits based on the state of employment. The negative effect of workers compensation on the results of surgical treatment has been established previously. A comparison of the results of treatment of patients receiving workers compensation from different states has not been reported. This study prospectively evaluated the effect of the difference in state workers compensation laws on the number of postoperative visits, amount of postoperative therapy, time off from work, and return to work status. The study group consisted of 275 patients. The results indicated a significant increase in the number of postoperative visits, amount of therapy, time off from work, and number of patients who remained out of work in the compensation versus the noncompensation group. A significant increase in these parameters also was present in the Pennsylvania compensation group as compared with the New Jersey compensation group. This study shows that differences in workers compensation benefits have a significant effect on the results of medical treatment, return to work status, and the cost of medical care.

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