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Curbing Opioid Abuse & Reducing Workers’ Comp Claims

Curbing Opioid Abuse & Reducing Workers’ Comp ClaimsSince the added coverage of opioids to health insurance plans, opioid use has surged. As we discussed last month, Opioid Use in the Workplace is leading to increased Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp claims. Due to this development, new prescription drug monitoring programs and laws have been implemented to curb opioid use.

According to Business Insurance, The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health which stated that Florida’s prescription drug monitoring program and “pill mill” laws were associated with “modest reduction” in opioid prescribing and use. The study, named “Effect of Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and Pill Mill Laws on Opioid Prescribing and Use” evaluated 2.6 million patients, 431,890 prescribers and 2,829 pharmacies in Florida over the span of two years, according to Business Insurance.

Although the study did not examine the effects of Workers’ Comp claims, the industry is naturally seeing the results of the “pill mill” monitoring programs. Michael Gavin of PRIUM stated the opioid epidemic in Workers’ Comp is a result of “legitimate, well-intentioned physicians who are undereducated on pain management and who are prescribing too many opioids.”

However, John Eadie, director of Prescription Drug Program Monitoring Center of Excellence at Brandeis University emphasized “The more doctors are able to monitor their patients and restrict their access to unnecessary opioids and also benzodiazepines, the healthier the workers compensation program recipients are going to be.” In other words, the more control over the drugs, the less abuse will occur.

Ensuring workers are using approved medication prescriptions when filling opioid orders at closed drug formularies are essential to leveraging the impact on the industry. What’s more, Business Journal notes that some states, including New York, Massachusetts and Tennessee require healthcare providers to access prescription drug monitoring databases prior to prescribing opioids. This, in conjunction with “pill mill” laws, is helping to reduce opioid abuse nationwide.

At Associated Specialty Insurance Agency (ASIA), we are committed to solving your business’ unique Workers’ Comp needs. Our comprehensive plans span coverage throughout our target states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. To learn more about our operations, contact our knowledgeable specialists today at (866) 679-7457.

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