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Long Covid’s impact on workers’ comp

Is the subject of a WCRI webinar at 2 pm eastern TODAY. No charge, but there’s a limit of 500 registrants.  Register here.

The webinar follows publication of WCRI’s Dr. Bogdan Savych’s study of Long COVID’s impact on workers’ comp (Study is free to WCRI members; non-members incur a fee).

A very brief summary from WCRI CEO Ramona Tanabe:

“Among all workers with COVID-19 claims, 6 percent received treatment for long COVID conditions, some more than a year after the initial infection. At an average of 18 months of post-infection experience, these workers received more than 20 weeks of temporary disability benefits and received about $29,000 in medical care.”

Note the relatively low medical cost…$29,000.

Other studies have examined Covid costs for patients covered by commercial health and Medicare Advantage. (note some are NOT Long Covid)

Long Covid – a study published in May of 2022 (note that was a while ago…) indicated the average annual medical costs of LC was $9,000.

CDC – costs average around $9,000 for care in the first 6 months after confirmed infection.

  • Using a large electronic administrative discharge database, Shrestha et al estimated a per-patient cost of $24,826 for inpatient care for adult patients with COVID-19.
  • Tsai et al examined claims data and found that the mean cost per outpatient visit of a Medicare beneficiary with a COVID-19–related diagnosis was $164.
  • Bartsch et al used simulation modeling and estimated median direct medical costs of a COVID-19 diagnosis ranging from $57 to $15,943, depending on the patient’s age and the severity of the case.
  • Another study found that COVID-19–related hospital costs per adult hospitalization varied from $8,400 in a general ward to more than $50,000 in an intensive care unit with a ventilator (7).

A useful synopsis of Long Covid issues, treatment, and symptoms is here.

What does this mean for you?

To date, Long Covid is not expensive. Regular readers would have anticipated this.

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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