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Costly compensation an issue in New Hampshire

Workers' compensation can be costly, and that's what some people are arguing has happened in New Hampshire. When you're seeking workers' compensation, this could have a direct effect; the state Insurance Department has claimed that New Hampshire medical providers charge up to twice as much as their counterparts around New England and the rest of the United States.

Some, including the representatives for the New Hampshire Hospital Association and the New Hampshire Medical Society, have argued that capping the rates or limiting the cost of services could limit workers' choices when it comes to care. They claim that in places like Massachusetts, the rates are so strict that patients are having trouble accessing care. New Hampshire does not have a fee schedule, which would control costs, so the price of care at each physician or facility can differ.

According to the news, there have been a few attempts to pass a fee schedule in New Hampshire over the last decade. That doesn't mean it won't happen though. The governor has claimed that instead of waiting for another session to try to pass legislation related to these fees, she will instead create a task force of businesses, insurers, members of the health care community and workers who can make recommendations on how to reduce costs.

In 2014, the rates of workers' compensation insurance in New Hampshire decreased, according to the actuary and director of market regulation at the state Insurance Department. However, there are statistics that show how different pricing in New Hampshire can be. For instance, radiology costs were allegedly 35 percent more expensive than in the rest of New England and 66 percent more expensive than they were nationally. Doctors' visits were reportedly 47 percent more expensive than others nationally. Additionally, physical and occupational therapies were reportedly 95 percent higher than in other places in New England and 64 percent higher than the national trend.

Source: VNews, "N.H. Workers’ Compensation Care Is Costly" Josh O’Gorman, May. 26, 2014

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