The Insurance Journal released an article discussing how a "surprising" share of work comp case costs come from unanticipated costs or, as they term it, "Adverse Surprise Costs." The study reported on was said to find:
Adverse surprise cases were disproportionately chronic conditions with multiple surgeries. They were also disproportionately back pain cases.
That's no surprise to me, however, and should really not be a surprise to anyone dealing with chronic pain and low back injuries. While back pain is not the only musculoskeletal condition being over-treated with narcotics, expensive imaging, and surgery, it certainly is the most costly of all. In fact, most of my recent posts have centered around this subject (you can find them here, here, and here).
What is surprising is that, despite all this research showing all this imaging, surgery, and narcotic prescription make things worse often, we are still using that recipe to treat most folks with LBP. In fact, those doing it are being the ones rewarded with reimbursement for doing so.
Jason L. Harris