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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2018

Effectiveness of employer financial incentives in reducing time to report worker injury: an interrupted time series study of two Australian workers’ compensation jurisdictions

Zeitschrift:
BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2018
Autoren:
Tyler J. Lane, Shannon Gray, Behrooz Hassani-Mahmooei, Alex Collie
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12889-017-4998-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Background

Early intervention following occupational injury can improve health outcomes and reduce the duration and cost of workers’ compensation claims. Financial early reporting incentives (ERIs) for employers may shorten the time between injury and access to compensation benefits and services. We examined ERI effect on time spent in the claim lodgement process in two Australian states: South Australia (SA), which introduced them in January 2009, and Tasmania (TAS), which introduced them in July 2010.

Methods

Using administrative records of 1.47 million claims lodged between July 2006 and June 2012, we conducted an interrupted time series study of ERI impact on monthly median days in the claim lodgement process. Time periods included claim reporting, insurer decision, and total time. The 18-month gap in implementation between the states allowed for a multiple baseline design. In SA, we analysed periods within claim reporting: worker and employer reporting times (similar data were not available in TAS). To account for external threats to validity, we examined impact in reference to a comparator of other Australian workers’ compensation jurisdictions.

Results

Total time in the process did not immediately change, though trend significantly decreased in both jurisdictions (SA: −0.36 days per month, 95% CI −0.63 to −0.09; TAS: 0.35, −0.50 to −0.20). Claim reporting time also decreased in both (SA: −1.6 days, −2.4 to −0.8; TAS: -5.4, −7.4 to −3.3). In TAS, there was a significant increase in insurer decision time (4.6, 3.9 to 5.4) and a similar but non-significant pattern in SA. In SA, worker reporting time significantly decreased (−4.7, −5.8 to −3.5), but employer reporting time did not (−0.3, −0.8 to 0.2).

Conclusions

The results suggest that ERIs reduced claim lodgement time and, in the long-term, reduced total time in the claim lodgement process. However, only worker reporting time significantly decreased in SA, indicating that ERIs may not have shortened the process through the intended target of employer reporting time. Lack of similar data in Tasmania limited our ability to determine whether this was a result of ERIs or another component of the legislative changes. Further, increases in insurer decision time highlight possible unintended negative effects.
Zusatzmaterial
Additional file 1: Table S1. Responses to the Quality Criteria for ITS Designs in Ramsay et al. 2003 [ 31]. Word document with table, citations, and bibliography. (DOCX 24 kb)
Additional file 2: Main analyses R code, main analyses. R Markdown file. (RMD 16 kb)
12889_2017_4998_MOESM2_ESM.rmd
Additional file 3: Main plots R code, main plots. R Markdown file. (RMD 26 kb)
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Additional file 4: Sensitivity analyses. R code, sensitivity analyses. R Markdown file. (RMD 19 kb)
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Additional file 5: Sensitivity plots R code, sensitivity plots. R Markdown file. (RMD 28 kb)
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Additional file 6: Claim volumes analysis. R code, claim volumes analysis and plot. R Markdown file. (RMD 15 kb)
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Additional file 7: Figure S1. Seasonally-adjusted trends in monthly 75th percentile time lags in the claims process pre- and post-early reporting incentives in South Australia and Tasmania, in reference to a comparator consisting of other Australian workers’ compensation jurisdictions, July 2006 to June 2012. .png image containing plots. (PNG 20 kb)
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Additional file 8: Table S2. The impact of South Australia and Tasmania’s early reporting incentives on number of days in the claims process, in reference to a comparator consisting of other Australian workers’ compensation jurisdictions (sensitivity analysis with 75th percentile). Word document with table. (DOCX 15 kb)
12889_2017_4998_MOESM8_ESM.docx
Additional file 9: Table S3. Monthly counts of workers’ compensation claims pre- and post-early reporting incentives in South Australia and Tasmania, in reference to a comparator consisting of other Australian workers’ compensation jurisdictions, July 2006 to June 2012. Word document with table. (DOCX 15 kb)
12889_2017_4998_MOESM9_ESM.docx
Additional file 10: Figure S2. Seasonally-adjusted trends in monthly claim volumes (indexed to July 2006), pre- and post-early reporting incentives in South Australia and Tasmania, in reference to a comparator consisting of other Australian workers’ compensation jurisdictions, July 2006 to June 2012. .png image containing plot. (PNG 14 kb)
12889_2017_4998_MOESM10_ESM.png
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