On May 31, 2020 the Florida Division of Workers' Compensation issued a 2020 COVID-19 Report. This addresses the frequency of COVID-19 workers' compensation claims in Florida. The statistics were pulled from the Division's databases by searching for a "Cause of Injury Code 8300," and keywords used "in the accident description."
Through the end of May, the Division reports 7 claims occurring (date of injury) in January, 26 in February, 1,949 in March, 1,558 in April, and 300 in May. The total reported is 3,807. This represents 15% "of all indemnity claims (25,449)," and payment of $3,431,342 (2.9% of the total $118,023,159). Those payments ($3,431,342) were comprised of
Private Insurer 1,418 claims totaling $856,484
Private Self-Insurer 822 claims totaling $721,127
Government Self-Insurer 1,567 claims totaling $1,853,732
Among those, a few (23) were partially denied. Those were predominantly by private entities (Private Insurer = 10, Private Self-Insurer = 12, Government Self-Insurer = 1). More were denied "totally," 1,695, which is about 45% of the total of 3,807 (contributed to by Private Insurer = 775, Private Self-Insurer = 175, Government Self-Insurer = 745).
Of those 3,807 claims, 42% (1,584) were in Dade County (Miami). Broward County (436, 11%) and Palm Beach County (402, 11%) were second and third in terms of frequency. Those three counties combined for a total of 64% of the Florida claims. Similar to the infection analysis in Florida, a significant majority of the impact so far has been in south Florida. As of June 9, Florida had 66,000 cases and Dade was 19,980, Broward 8,035, and Palm Beach 7,518 (total of 35,533 in three counties, about 54% of the state's total.
The payments for workers' compensation in those three counties accounted for 67% ($2,307,747) of the $3,431,342 paid. Of Florida's 67 counties, 12 counties have not yet had a COVID-19 related workers' compensation claim.
The breakdown of occupations is also interesting. Airline workers account for 57 (1.5%) of the claims, health care workers for 1,740 (45.7%), office workers for 234 (6.1%), protective services (public personnel in fields such as correction officers, police, firefighters, forest rangers, and state troopers) 1,431 (37.6%), and service industry for 345 (9.5%). The expenditures for each group are also listed, and both protective services and office worker expenditures as a percentage of total spent were higher than those two group's respective claim percentages.
Which claims are being accepted as compensable? The breakdown by occupations is as follows (in parentheses is accepted number/totally denied number/partially denied number, then a semicolon and the accepted percentage/totally denied percentage/partially denied percentage): Airline workers 57 (22/35/0; 39%/61%/0%); health care workers for 1,740 (1,200/521/19; 69%/30%/1%), office workers 234 (128/104/2; 55%/44%/1%), protective services 1,431 (650/780/1; 45%/55%/0%), and service industry 345 (89/255/1; 26%/74%/0%). The expenditures for each group are also listed, and both protective services and office worker expenditures as a percentage of total spent were higher than those two group's claim percentages.
Despite some of those claims being "full denials," about $44,851 was nevertheless paid on those claims (likely during investigation and before denial).
Most (53%) of the Florida workers' compensation claims involve individuals that are reported as female (2,017) and the claims for those reported as male are 1,782 (47%). a small number (8) is labelled as gender/sex "not indicated." The distribution of the various claims by age is illustrated in the table below. This illustrates that men over 50 comprise a smaller percentage (21%) than women in that age range (30%). Similarly, men in the group 39 or under comprise 54% of men's claims while women in that age range comprise only 44% of female claims.
Finally, the Division notes that telemedicine has seen serious increased billing in Florida in recent months. In January there were 264 bills for that service; February brought 307. But in March 2020 there were 2,356 (667% increase). April made that look tame with 8,374 bills for telemedicine (369% increase month to month). But, for some reason the trend changed in May, dropping back to only 1,426. Notably, however, that figure for May is still more than 5 times the total in January (264), the pre-COVID time. There is no conclusion suggested as to why May is significantly lower than March and April.
In what professions is the telemedicine occurring? The vast majority (6,338 bills, 52% of the total) came from medical doctors. The next largest group (3,041 bills, 25%) from physical therapists. The numbers drop precipitously for the next largest groups: osteopathic physicians (734 bills, 6%), "out of state care providers (660 bills, 5%) occupational therapist (296 bills, 2%), physician assistants (290 bills, 2%) and psychologists (239 bills, 2%); the other providers in 12 categories were all fewer than 200 bills each, many were only one or two each.
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