NCCI releases part 3 of Inflation and Workers Compensation Medical Costs— Physician Services


WHAT: Physician and facility services represent the bulk of medical expenditures in WC. In this third installment of NCCI’s series concerning inflation and WC medical costs, we focus on physician services and how evaluation and management (E&M), surgery, radiology, and physical medicine contribute to changes in WC medical costs.


  • The average physician-paid cost per claim grew moderately from 2012 to 2021 at about 1.5% per year.
  • Annual average physician payments by region varied modestly, increasing between 1.3% and 1.8%, with the Midwest and Northeast seeing the largest and smallest growth, respectively.
  • Prices for physician services increased, which was the primary driver of growth in costs across regions.
  • A change in utilization was the principal contributor to shifts in costs for surgeries and physical medicine services, with surgery use decreasing while physical medicine use increased.
  • Physical medicine services were the most prominent contributor to the increase in physician costs across all regions.

MORE DETAILS: This installment of the series explores price and utilization trends in physician services and how each contributes to WC costs in four US geographical regions. This article also provides state-specific results.

HOW TO ACCESS THIS REPORT: The full report can be accessed on NCCI’s website using this link: Inflation and Workers Compensation Medical Costs – Physician Services.


FOR MORE ON INFLATION AND WC: Check out parts 1 and 2 of the series:

Inflation and Workers Compensation Medical Costs—Overall Medical

Inflation and Workers Compensation Medical Costs—Facility Services


COMING SOON: The next installment of this series will cover Prescription Drugs.

WHO: The report, "Inflation and Workers Compensation Medical Costs – Physician Services” is authored by Raji Chadarevian, Executive Director-Actuarial Research, and David Colon-Assistant Actuary.

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