As medical costs associated with workman’s compensation claims continues to skyrocket – the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) noted that medical benefits on lost time per claim had risen from $9,000 in 2003 to $28,500 by 2015 – a new survey indicates that insurance professionals believe technology can reverse that trend, with “telemedicine” leading the charge.
Conducted by Mitchell International, Inc., the survey – based on a poll of 275 executives within the workers compensation industry – found that 45% of respondents believe telemedicine will have the biggest impact on lowering costs, followed by artificial intelligence (19%), mobile technologies (14%), and wearable devices (10%).
Notably, though, about 10% believe that none of those will “significantly” impact workman’s compensation claims.
More than 24% of the survey respondents said they are very likely to adopt such technologies in the next five years – and the telemedicine industry may witness stronger growth as a result.
According to an Orbis Research Market Research Report, the U.S. telemedicine market is projected to grow at an annualized rate of 6% over the next two years to reach nearly $7 billion in value by 2020.
By far, the key factor influencing the adoption of advanced technologies according to Mitchell’s poll is their potential to increase the effectiveness of cost containment efforts (54%t).
Over the last decade, the workers’ compensation industry has faced rising costs while seeking ways to improve service to injured workers and their employers alike, the firm’s survey found.
Companies are also looking to advanced technologies to help improve claims processes and medical care for injured employees, while also improving automation efficiency and 86% of respondents believe that advanced technologies will most affect medical management and claims management (43% each).
Similarly, nearly 30% of respondents believe advanced technologies will influence improved “medical outcomes” the most, as well as the direction of care (16%), risk mitigation (16%), fraud management (17%) and claims triage (18%).