Hospital admissions and emergency department presentations after long duration workers’ compensation claims - Transitions Study- Report 2
What happens to workers with long duration workers’ compensation claims when their workers compensation benefits stop?
This is the central research question in the Transitions Study, and is partially answered in this report. We describe emergency department presentations and hospital admissions before and after cessation of workers’ compensation income support payments in two groups of workers with long-duration claims, in comparison with a group of community controls. This is the second report in a series examining use of health services and welfare benefits after workers’ compensation among people whose workers’ compensation benefits ceased due to the implementation of legislative amendments to Section 39 of the Workers’ Compensation Act 1987 (NSW). The amendments set a 260-week (5 year) limit on income support payments for injured workers unless they were assessed as having more than 20% permanent impairment, or were employed in an exempt occupational category (e.g. police officers, fire fighters, coal miners).
This report examines whether emergency department presentations and hospital admissions differ between the study groups, and whether there are any changes after workers’ compensation benefits stop. To answer our study questions, we linked data from the New South Wales (NSW) hospital (public and private) and the NSW workers’ compensation systems, and then performed a series of statistical analyses comparing emergency department presentations and hospital admissions between groups, before and after the implementation of the Section 39 amendment.