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Hospital costs, Medicaid expansion, and workers’ comp

Three pictures tell the story of the biggest problem in workers’ comp medical cost management.

A reminder that facility costs are the biggest chunk of medical spend from Kaiser Family Foundation.

A seemingly-unrelated graphic illustrating the status of Medicaid expansion; blue states expanded Medicaid under ACA, gold-ish states did not.

States where work comp facility costs have risen the most – courtesy WCRI.

This from Captain Obvious – Hospitals in states that failed to expand Medicaid are using workers’ comp as a financial lifeline.

What does this mean for you?

What’s your solution?

3 thoughts on “Hospital costs, Medicaid expansion, and workers’ comp”

    1. Hello Blake – thanks for the note; of course you are correct. WCRI’s report used 2016 data.

      1. Joe, this is important information and very timely in 2020 which I’m sure is why you posted it. I live in Florida and work in the WC industry, so you can imagine my frustration when Florida opted out of Medicaid expansion. The cause/effect outcome was obvious to see. In response to you “What is your solution?” question, I have to first ask what is the political motivation for a State not to expand Medicaid when they know it will shift many of the costs to employers for the working population and when it is a critical need for all of their constituents – so assuming we all vote, why does this make political sense? Is the solution a PAC effort? Traditional Safety and Triage initiatives likely won’t solve the problem. What do you recommend?

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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