Based on data from OSHA Forms 300 and 200, which cover all OSHA recordable injuries and illnesses, and provide the basis for rating state-by-state workers’ compensation performance, Minnesota performed the best of all the states for 2007, and Nevada and Arizona came in a close second and third, respectively.

This information comes courtesy of the Work Loss Data Institute (WLDI), an independent database development company based in Encinitas, California that focuses on workplace health and productivity. WLDI’s 2010 State Report Cards for Workers’ Comp report, released earlier this week, includes eight years of data, which is used to track trends, and give states a grade and tier ranking based on their performance from 2000-2007. Forty-three states are covered, plus Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

The report cards help employers, insurers, TPAs, state governments and consultants answer the questions, “Who is doing well and why?”

This report follows quickly on the heels of the 2009 report (published in July 2009, with data through 2006) because 2007 data became available shortly thereafter. Customers who ordered and received the 2009 report will receive the updated report free of charge, and new orders will receive the 2010 report, which contains consistent comparative data for all eight years.

Besides having an extra year’s worth of data, the 2010 State Report Cards also has some changes to past methodology for the sake of consistency. Carpal tunnel syndrome, a key condition originally included as a standalone category measurement in the first two editions of this report, was dropped as a standalone category measurement in the 2009 report due to declining incidences. The new report removes carpal tunnel syndrome as a separate category measure, instead counting carpal tunnel absence in concert with all other conditions. In doing so, the new report recalculates the 2000-2002 measures according to this methodology, so that all eight years are compared based on the same measurements. That said, this 2010 publication, and all the data therein, is the best basis for all comparisons since all eight years are now rated under a consistent process.

The 2010 State Report Cards provide five different outcome measures compared among the states for each year: (1) Incidence Rates, (2) Cases Missing Work, (3) Median Disability Durations, (4) Delayed Recovery Rate; and (5) Key Condition: Low Back Strain. An essential requirement for production of this report was the proprietary crosswalk program that has been developed by Work Loss Data Institute, which converts OSHA-reported data into an ICD9 code format. More details on the methodology used are located at http://www.worklossdata.com/SRCMethods2010.htm. Minnesota, Nevada and Arizona states received a grade of “A+” based on an average of their 2007 scores in the five categories above. Puerto Rico came in last, then Rhode Island, with New York and New Jersey very close to the bottom.

A summary of each grade for all states is shown on a U.S. Map Showing Grades by State, located at http://www.worklossdata.com/SRC2010grades.htm.

In terms of the tier ranking system, the Tier I states are Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota and Utah. Tier I means that the state had an average grade of “B+” or better, and a trend going up or level. Those four states were doing great and continuing to improve. Five states fell into the opposite category, Tier VI, which means they had an average grade of “D-” or worse, and a trend going down or level. The worst performers for the years 2000-2007 were: Illinois, Kentucky, Oklahoma, New York and Wyoming. A summary of Tier Rankings for all states is shown on a U.S. Map Showing Grades by State, located at http://www.worklossdata.com/SRC2010tiers.htm.

The WLDI special report, entitled 2010 State Report Cards for Workers’ Comp provides complete detail on all cases for the 46 participating states and territories, based on all cases reported to OSHA for the years 2000-2007 as a 79-page report with narrative, plus more than 50 spreadsheet files with complete detailed backup data that is referenced in the narrative. It is available in both electronic and hardcopy formats. Note: The electronic format is recommended to facilitate links to the electronic spreadsheet files and the supporting data.

The Official Disability Guidelines (ODG) product line provides evidence-based medical treatment and disability duration guidelines to improve as well as benchmark outcomes in workers’ comp and non-occupational disability. ODG is available in Web-based, textbook and systems integration formats, used in all 50 states and worldwide.

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