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The Position of Workers’ Compensation in 2017

With the election of a new president who is ushering in a new era for the government, the trickle-down effect to the workers’ compensation industry just might sweep you off your feet. Prepare yourself with the industry knowledge you need, and avoid being overtaken by the tsunami…

The 2017 Workers’ Compensation Industry Issues to Watch:

  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
    Like a rogue wave, changes to the ACA may pop-up with little notice. These changes will influence the industry, including claims frequency, claims shifting, and cost shifting if/when private insurance is lost […]

March 13th, 2017|Workers Compensation Industry, Workers Compensation Payers|Comments Off on The Position of Workers’ Compensation in 2017

Naloxone (Narcan): What Workers’ Comp Payers Need to Know

Though it has been on the market since 1971, this year is expected to be a landmark year in naloxone (Narcan) sales nationwide, and this trend is expected to continue due not only to the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation, but the fact that opioids still remain the most frequently prescribed category of medication used in workers’ comp pain management.

Preventing Death from Opioid Overdose

In its hallmark form, naloxone was approved for injection by the FDA in 1971. An opioid agonist, it was used in hospital and emergency settings […]

February 27th, 2017|Workers Compensation Industry, Workers Compensation Payers|Comments Off on Naloxone (Narcan): What Workers’ Comp Payers Need to Know
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    Landmark Reforms Hoped to Aid New York in the Fight against Opioid Addiction

Landmark Reforms Hoped to Aid New York in the Fight against Opioid Addiction

It is hoped to be a happier new year for Empire State residents suffering from opioid abuse. In a landmark legislative package that took effect January 1st of this year, health insurance plans will now be required to cover treatment services to New Yorkers suffering opioid addiction. In a state plagued by the effects of opioids and heroin, whose overdose death rates are far outpacing nearly every state in the union, legislators are hopeful those grappling with the effects of these drugs can finally gain access to the help […]

February 13th, 2017|Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on Landmark Reforms Hoped to Aid New York in the Fight against Opioid Addiction

Comorbidities Compound Workers’ Comp Costs & Recovery

Underlying Conditions Complicate Workers’ Comp Injury Rehabilitation

New research from a Harbor Health Systems study demonstrates the significant impact of underlying conditions on workers’ comp claims. Commonly associated with higher costs and increased duration, this latest research illustrates an undeniable link between patients with comorbidities and undesirable claims outcomes.

A Problematic Pile-Up

Analyzing data from more than 7,000 workers’ comp claims, encompassing seven common comorbidities: Obesity, hypertension, diabetes, mental health, addiction, tobacco use, and combination comorbidities, claims associated with comorbid conditions were found to have incurred an array of undesirable side […]

January 30th, 2017|Pharmaceutical Cost Containment, Pharmacotherapy Review, Workers Compensation Industry|Comments Off on Comorbidities Compound Workers’ Comp Costs & Recovery

New Opioids Reduce Pain – and Addiction Risk

A new generation of opioid drugs are on the horizon, possibly offering the much maligned class of drugs a second chance to make a good impression. After years of opioids like oxycodone and fentanyl driving up drug addiction rates nationwide, a second subset of once odious opioids is being introduced, touting all the painkilling power of its conventional counterpart – less the dangerous and deadly side effects.

A Different Approach

While pharmaceutical companies continue to crank out new prescription formulations geared toward treating the side effects of opioid drug use […]

January 17th, 2017|Drug Utilization Review, Opioid Abuse, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on New Opioids Reduce Pain – and Addiction Risk
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    Alabama Doctor Arrested In Connection with Matt Roberts of 3 Doors Down Overdose Death

Alabama Doctor Arrested In Connection with Matt Roberts of 3 Doors Down Overdose Death

In mid-August of this year, fans were stunned by the death of 38-year-old Matt Roberts, former guitarist of 3 Doors Down. Alabama physician Dr. Richard Snellgrove was arrested November 16th for allegedly providing the rocker with drugs outside the course of his professional practice. Snellgrove prescribed some five different medications, including methadone, hydrocodone, lorazepam and fentanyl — all prescribed in the names of different individuals, but intended for Roberts.

Slated to perform at a charity event for veterans, the rocker’s father, Darrell Roberts, who often traveled […]

December 22nd, 2016|Opioid Abuse, Pharmaceutical Industry, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on Alabama Doctor Arrested In Connection with Matt Roberts of 3 Doors Down Overdose Death

The Impact of Workers’ Compensation Compounding

As custom-made compound prescriptions concoctions continue to rack-up higher workers’ compensation costs, insurers are scrambling to find alternatives and employers are looking for relief from equally inflated premiums. With little to no evidence as to the efficacy of such creations, many states have implemented treatment guidelines directing doctors to more evidentiary-based, easily reimbursable options. Despite guidelines and formularies however, loopholes in coverage continue to allow providers to sell millions of dollars of compounds, with many companies submitting inflated reimbursement bills in their attempts to get paid.

A Growing Issue in […]

December 15th, 2016|Drug Utilization Review, Workers Compensation Industry|Comments Off on The Impact of Workers’ Compensation Compounding
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    New FDA Warning: Avoid Prescribing Opioids & Benzos Together

New FDA Warning: Avoid Prescribing Opioids & Benzos Together

In a recent announcement by the FDA, boxed warning labels will now be required to advise against the utilization of prescription opioid pain medicines alongside benzodiazepines unless no other adequate alternative treatment method exists. Warnings about the risks of combining these two classes of drugs are nothing new. Already required on drug warning labels, additional black box warnings are an effort by the FDA to reach out to those who may have “missed the message.”

Classified as Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants, each drug alone can trigger side effects such […]

November 21st, 2016|Pharmaceutical Industry, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on New FDA Warning: Avoid Prescribing Opioids & Benzos Together
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    Prescription Drugs and the Workers’ Compensation Cost Containment Arena

Prescription Drugs and the Workers’ Compensation Cost Containment Arena

The U.S. remains the biggest global consumer of prescription drugs, up from around 76 million in 1991 to nearly 207 million in 2013 however a recent court ruling has called into direct question the prescription practices of physicians nationwide (Volkow).

The occurrence of unnecessary or medically inappropriate prescribing of opioids in pain management is compromising the lives and well-being of injured workers.  There are a number of serious issues concerning the use of opioids in pain management:

  • Not cost effective
    Evidence-based reviews are seldom consulted prior to the prescribing of opioids, and […]

November 7th, 2016|Pharmacotherapy Review, Workers Compensation Payers|Comments Off on Prescription Drugs and the Workers’ Compensation Cost Containment Arena

What’s Trending with California Workers’ Compensation

Though workers’ comp claims frequency is declining, a recently released California hospital report indicates claim severity is on the rise. Obtaining data from 35 hospitals and individual facilities, the Milliman and Keenan Healthcare report sourced more than 3,500 claims for review.

Trends identified in the report:

  • A decline in indemnity and medical-only claims, with ALAE costs playing an increasing role in overall claims costs in recent years. More specifically:
    • Higher average costs per indemnity for workers over 30.
    • Lesser average severity of indemnity claims in workers 30 and younger, with payments more likely […]
October 28th, 2016|Pharmacotherapy Review, Workers Compensation Payers|Comments Off on What’s Trending with California Workers’ Compensation