Mitchell Releases All-Digital Multi-Edition
Industry Trends Report for Second Quarter 2012
Latest ITR examines variances in frame/unibody straightening repair estimates;
features analysis of medical fee schedules impact on claims cost containment.
SAN DIEGO, CA—May 2, 2012—Mitchell, a leading provider of technology, connectivity and information solutions to the Property & Casualty claims and Collision Repair industries, today announced the availability of its Industry Trends Report (ITR) for the second quarter of 2012. Mitchell’s quarterly publication has served the auto physical damage collision and casualty industries with emerging industry trend highlights and key performance indicators for more than a decade.
The Auto Physical Damage edition of the second quarter 2012 ITR features the article, “Pulling and Squaring: A Look at Frame and Unibody Straightening,” written by Mitchell's Vice President of Industry Relations, Greg Horn. In this article, Horn examines frame/unibody straightening, an important area of estimating subject to regional and other variances that make direct comparisons of repair costs difficult. Evaluation of hourly data findings from approximately 1.5 million repairable estimates revealed surprising results that show the value of in-depth collision repair expertise and the industry’s most extensive auto claims database.
“This examination of Mitchell frame/unibody straightening auto claims data produced two significant conclusions: first, the exemption from bumper crash standards given to trucks leads to more frame repair; and second, Asian vehicles are more susceptible to frame damage than their Domestic and European counterparts,” said Horn. “Our analysis showed frame labor as averaging $54.05 per hour, with Domestic vehicles having the highest hourly frame/unibody labor rate. Domestic and European vehicles had an identical frequency of straightening; surprisingly, Asian vehicles had a straightening frequency 12 percent higher than European or Domestic makes. These results, while in some ways counterintuitive, show how important it is to look at repair costs in the aggregate in order to maximize shop and auto claims management business performance.”
The second quarter 2012 ITR Casualty Edition feature article, written by Edward H. Olsen, DC, CPCU, Senior Business Process Consultant with Mitchell, and Chris M. Atkinson, Research Analyst in Mitchell’s Risk and Performance Optimization (RPO) group, showcases the Mitchell Price Index (MPI), a powerful data analysis tool. The MPI enables insurance payers to easily compare Auto Casualty, Workers’ Compensation and Personal Health Insurance markets at a National, Regional and State level, monitoring medical charge trends by coverage state and medical service group.
“Mitchell’s Medical Price Index empowers the Property & Casualty industry to completely understand all of the forces driving overall claims costs,” said Olsen. “In this Industry Trends Report Casualty edition, we analyzed the impact of medical fee schedules—used by regulators in an attempt to control spiraling medical costs—on claims cost containment. We made the important discovery that while fee schedules appear to reduce provider unit charges, a significant piece of the puzzle left unaddressed is utilization, which once included, significantly changed the actual results of this regulatory claims cost containment initiative.”
As an example, he added, “Mitchell’s analysis of Florida’s update to its medical fee schedule in 2008 revealed that while medical fee schedules decreased the average allowed amount per unit by approximately 22%, provider behavior increased the number of units per claimant by about 42%. The net effect was an overall increase of close to 12% in the average allowed amount per claimant in Florida PIP claims, demonstrating the need for claim handling procedures that are flexible enough to react to changes in provider behavior in order to provide full visibility into medical cost containment efforts.”
Complete content is available in the latest Industry Trends Report, which may be downloaded by visiting www.mitchell.com. First published in April 2001, Mitchell's Industry Trends Report has grown in both content and circulation, now reaching more than 46,000 collision and casualty industry professionals.
Mitchell empowers clients to achieve measurably better outcomes. Providing unparalleled breadth of technology, connectivity and information solutions to the Property & Casualty claims and Collision Repair industries, Mitchell is uniquely able to simplify and accelerate the claims management and collision repair processes.
As a leading provider of Property & Casualty claims technology solutions, Mitchell processes over 50 million transactions annually for over 300 insurance companies/claims payers and over 30,000 collision repair facilities throughout North America. Founded in 1946, Mitchell is headquartered in San Diego, California, and has 1,700 employees. The company is privately owned primarily by the Aurora Capital Group, a Los Angeles-based investment group. For more information about Mitchell, visit www.mitchell.com.
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