Workers' compensation costs per claim in Florida, which fell after 2003's system reforms, appear to have grown from 2005 to 2009, according to the CompScope Benchmarks for Floridasurvey by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

The study shows that the average indemnity cost per claim, including payments for lost wages, loss of earning capacity or permanent impairment or disability, increased 3 percent per year after declines of more than 20 percent because of reforms related to permanent disability benefits.

A portion of the moderate growth in indemnity costs per claim stemmed from wage growth while another part was caused by the rise in lump-sum frequency and growth in the average lump-sum payment per claim. Florida medical costs per claim also continued to rise rapidly for most cases in 2009, which is the most recent study year. Among all paid claims and medical-only claims, the average medical cost per claim increased 7 percent and 10 percent in 2009.

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