The research presented in this dissertation offers an understanding of whether workers' compensation claim medical costs and time until closure measured in days are the same or different for English as compared to Spanish language claimants and whether among Spanish language patients medical costs and/or time until case closure have an association to the number of professional medical interpreter units billed. The quantitative study uses retrospective claim data from one Colorado workers' compensation insurer. The study design controls for confounding variables by using exclusion criteria during sample selection. The resulting sample population in addition to languages is limited to one industry (construction), date range of case opening and closure, providers (part of the insurer network), one injury type (strain) and body locations (lower back lumbar or lumbosacral). The Mann-Whitney Tests showed no statistical significant difference in average medical costs and time until case closure between language groups. Among Spanish claimants using the Spearman's rho, there was a correlation between both medical costs and time until case closure and number of interpreter units billed. As the number of units of interpreter use increase, medical costs and time until claim closure also increase. Analysis of cases by gender does not show a significant difference. An analysis based on age shows that as age increases so does medical cost and days to claim closure. What the researcher further learned from the study was that only 55% of the Spanish language claimants received any level of interpreter services and that even with interpreter costs included in the medical costs, the difference between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking medical costs was not statistically significant. The differences of higher average rankings of medical costs and time to closure among the Spanish-speaking group that received any level of interpreter services compared to those that did not, suggests to the researcher that further research that is able to filter out interpreter costs to determine if the results are similar or different to this study would be of value in promoting the value of using interpreter services as a best practice to address language barriers and for claim cost containment.In each of these studies, individual cases of patients treated in medical clinics that use either bilingual medical ... Findings such as these support the value of comparing Spanish language claimants to determine if professional medical interpreter utilization variables contribute to higher ... as well as patientsa#39; ability to communicate symptoms, follow medical advice, and understand medication instructionsa.
|Title||:||Workers' Compensation Closed Claim Outcomes: Interpreter Utilization and Spanish Language Claimant Differences|
|Author||:||Maureen A. Marzano|
|Publisher||:||ProQuest - 2006|