Performance of New York Workers' Compensation Benefit Delivery System Tracked in New WCRI Study


Cambridge, MA ( - The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) released a new report today for policymakers and system stakeholders to track the performance of the New York workers’ compensation benefit delivery system following reforms enacted in 2007 as well as the impact of additional legislative and administrative changes.

“Originally established to monitor the system following reforms in 2007, the report has evolved into a tool for tracking key metrics of system performance on an ongoing basis,” said Ramona Tanabe, WCRI’s executive vice president and counsel. “This regular monitoring helps focus attention on policy objectives that are being met, objectives that are not being met, and unintended consequences that have emerged.”

The study, Monitoring Trends in the New York Workers’ Compensation System, 2018 Edition, is the 11th annual report to regularly track key metrics of the performance of the workers’ compensation system after the implementation of statutory changes enacted in 2007. The following are among the study’s major findings: 

  • Indemnity benefits per claim increased 8-9 percent per year from 2007 to 2014, which was largely related to the provisions of the 2007 reforms.
  • Since 2014, indemnity benefits per claim were stable for less mature claims with 12 and 24 months of experience.
  • Medical payments per claim grew 3–4 percent per year from 2007 to 2014; they were stable since 2014.
  • Benefit delivery expenses per claim increased 7–8 percent per year since 2007, with all key components (medical cost containment, defense attorney payments, and medical-legal expenses) contributing to the growth.
  • Time to first indemnity payment improved, which may reflect in part new processes of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.

The analysis in this edition includes trends in indemnity benefits, medical payments, and benefit delivery expenses from 2007 to 2016 for claims at different maturities. Various interstate comparisons from other WCRI studies are provided to help put the performance of the New York system into perspective, such as prices paid for medical services and the frequency and amount of opioids dispensed to injured workers.

William Monnin-Browder and Carol A. Telles are the authors of the study. To learn more or to purchase a copy, visit WCRI’s website at

About WCRI

The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Cambridge, MA. Organized in late 1983, the Institute does not take positions on the issues it researches; rather, it provides information obtained through studies and data collection efforts, which conform to recognized scientific methods. Objectivity is further ensured through rigorous, unbiased peer review procedures. WCRI's diverse membership includes employers; insurers; governmental entities; managed care companies; health care providers; insurance regulators; state labor organizations; and state administrative agencies in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

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