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SELECTED INDICATORS IN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION:   A REPORT CARD FOR CALIFORNIANS

Cost per Medical-Legal Examination

There are two reasons why the average cost per medical examination has declined by 16 percent since its peak in 1990. First, substantial changes were made to the structure of the Medical-Legal Fee Schedule that reduced the rates at which medical examinations are reimbursed.  These restrictions were introduced in early 1993 and enforced after the start of August 1993.  

Second, during this period, the average cost of medical examinations was also being affected by the frequency of psychiatric examinations. On average, psychiatric examinations are the most expensive examinations by specialty of provider. The relative portion of all examinations that is made up of psychiatric examinations declined since hitting a high in 1990-1991, leading to a substantial improvement in the overall average cost per examination.

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