WCRI: Age and Claims Cost Report

Claims Management
Cost Containment
Patient Management

January 23, 2020

Injury rates do not vary substantially by age, according to the latest report released by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). The report, which evaluates the differences by age in injury rates and outcomes, does find that there is a variation in payments per claim and recovery.

In the report, factors including the rate of injury, type of injury, and length of recovery were evaluated in relation to the injured workers’ occupation and industry. Though the type of injury varies by age, injuries occur more often for workers under the age of 25. This is likely because occupations with higher rates of injury, such as food preparation, also have higher amounts of younger workers. As for the type of injury, younger workers have higher rates of injuries due to direct contact with equipment, while the rate of falls and fractures increases steadily with age.

Another highlight from the report is that medical payments per claim increase with age. However, there are underlying factors that may contribute to this increase. For instance, older workers typically earn higher wages than workers with less experience. Also, older workers visit a higher number of different providers during their recovery.

The following are among the study’s major findings:

  • Sprains and strains are the most common injury for all ages – the rate of them increases for workers up to the age of 64, then drops substantially.
  • Average indemnity payments for claims with more than seven days of lost time generally increase with age but decrease for workers aged 65 and older.
  • Likelihood of inpatient stay increases with age for lower extremity fractures.

To read the full report, click here.

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