An employer's choice of a medical provider for an injured workerimpacts both the treatment cost and the length of time the employeeis off the job, according to two study groups.

The report by the Cambridge, Mass.-based Workers' CompensationResearch Institute and the Public Policy Institute of California inSan Francisco finds a variety of outcomes for injured workersinfluenced by provider choice.

Besides duration of time out of work, the researchers said theprovider influenced such issues as full return to work, theworker's perception of the degree of recovery from the work injury,and their overall satisfaction with the health care received.

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