Workers' Comp: How to Improve it for Federal Employees

Study of the feasibility of improving the health component of the workers' compensation system for federal employees

During 1995 and 1996, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center analyzed the existing system of providing medical care and payments for workplace illnesses and injuries to government employees under the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) and made recommendations for improving the cost and quality of care.

The Federal Employees Compensation Act is administered by the Office of Workers' Compensation Program (OWCP) in the Department of Labor.

Key Findings

  • As a result of the study, the researchers made three recommendations to improve the current system:

    • The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs should be given resources adequate to undertake a systematic effort to evaluate the cost and quality of medical care received by covered federal workers.
    • The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, in collaboration with employing agencies and federal unions, should expand its use of cost-containment and quality improvement technologies under current law, contracting with independent researchers to evaluate the impact of such technologies.
    • The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, in collaboration with employing agencies and federal unions, should consider implementing pilot projects using selected provider networks and/or coordinated benefits for delivery of medical services covered under the Federal Employees Compensation Act.

      This would facilitate an examination of the impact of these innovative approaches on cost containment and quality improvement of medical care available to federal workers.