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The Impact of Provider Choice on Workers' Compensation Costs and Outcomes


  • David Neumark
  • Peter S. Barth
  • Richard Victor


We study how provider choice in workers' compensation cases affects costs and outcomes. When employees choose the provider, costs are higher and return-to-work outcomes are worse, while physical recovery is the same although satisfaction with medical care is higher. The higher costs and worse return-to-work outcomes associated with employee choice arise largely when employees selected a new provider, rather than a provider with whom the worker had a pre-existing relationship. The findings lend some support to recent policy changes limiting workers' ability to choose a provider with whom they do not have a prior relationship.

Suggested Citation

  • David Neumark & Peter S. Barth & Richard Victor, 2005. "The Impact of Provider Choice on Workers' Compensation Costs and Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 11855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11855
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    Cited by:

    1. McInerney, Melissa, 2010. "Privatizing public services and strategic behavior: The impact of incentives to reduce workers' compensation claim duration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 777-789, October.
    2. David Neumark & Bogdan Savych, 2017. "The Effects of Provider Choice Policies on Workers' Compensation Costs," NBER Working Papers 23611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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