Do Claim Factors Predict Health Care Utilization after Transport Accidents?
Accident Analysis and Prevention 53 (2013) 121–126
6 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2015
Date Written: June 1, 2012
Background: Injured people who are involved in compensation processes have less recovery and less well-being compared to those not involved in claims settlement procedures. This study investigated whether claim factors, such as no-fault versus common law claims, the number of independent medical assessments, and legal disputes, predict health care utilization after transport accidents.
Method: The sample consisted of 68,911 claimants who lodged a compensation claim at the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) in Victoria, Australia, between 2000 and 2005. The main outcome measure was health care utilization, which was defined as the number of visits to health care providers (e.g. general practitioners, physiotherapists, psychologists) during the 5 year period post-accident.
Results: After correction for gender, age, role in accident, injury type, and severity of injury, it was found that independent medical assessments were associated with greater health care utilization (β = .36, p < .001). Involvement in common law claims and legal disputes were both significantly related to health care utilization (respectively β = .05, p < .001 and β = −.02, p < .001), however, the standardized betas were negligible, therefore the effect is not clinically relevant. A model including claim factors predicted the number of health care visits significantly better (ΔR2 = .08, p < .001) than a model including only gender, age, role in accident, injury type, and severity of injury.
Conclusion: The positive association between the number of independent medical assessments and health care utilization after transport accidents may imply that numerous medical assessments have a negative effect on claimants’ health. However, further research is needed to determine a causal relationship.
Keywords: Transport accidents, Compensation processes, Health care utilization, Medical assessments, Therapeutic Jurisprudence
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