Your ANSwer for Workers' Compensation Medical Cost Containment

2016 WCRI Annual Issues & Research Conference

ANS recently attended the 2016 WCRI Annual Issues & Research Conference. The independent, not-for-profit institute studies and delivers objective information pertaining to public policy issues involving the workers’ comp system.

 

 

Conference Panel Highlights:

  • Opioid Prescribing in Workers’ Comp
    • Overview:
      Opioids are a societal problem – not just a workers’ comp issue, and it will take a decade to dig ourselves out. Guidelines are necessary to combat the growing trend.
    • Positive Trends:
      Prescription frequency varies widely by state, leading to revised prescribing guidelines in medical/workers’ comp communities. Retail pharmacies are no longer simply filling, but verifying […]

By |March 30th, 2016|Opioid Abuse, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on 2016 WCRI Annual Issues & Research Conference

FDA Focuses on Opioid Policy

The FDA has recently acknowledged its own need to establish a “far-reaching action plan to reassess the agency’s approach to opioid medications” in order to reduce the trend, deemed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as “a serious public health issue.” Now the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., more Americans currently die from drug overdoses annually than motor vehicle crashes, the majority of which can be linked back to opioid prescription medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and others.

National Attention

In addition […]

By |March 15th, 2016|Opioid Abuse, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on FDA Focuses on Opioid Policy
  • Pharmacotherapy review reduces costs and minimizes risks present by polypharmacy
    Permalink Gallery

    Potential Workers Compensation Cost Drivers- Private Label Topicals

Potential Workers Compensation Cost Drivers- Private Label Topicals

We are seeing a trend in which doctors are increasingly prescribing private label topical drugs for the treatment of chronic pain. Awareness of these expensive and clinically unproven products is becoming increasingly important due to their potential safety and cost implications.

What are they?

Differing from custom compounds, private label topicals are similar to over-the-counter (OTC) topical products, with varying formulations that are not clinically tested for either safety or efficacy. Private-label topical analgesics are not recommended according to evidence-based guidelines and they are not approved by the FDA.

From a clinical perspective, private-label […]

By |February 29th, 2016|Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on Potential Workers Compensation Cost Drivers- Private Label Topicals

Innovating Clinical Intervention

The lack of communication among treating physicians for injured workers has been a known deficit in large loss claims for some time. Professional liability insurance companies have recently issued statements concerning the trend of incomplete patient information, missing tests and poor communication among physicians resulting in lengthier recoveries and costly medical treatment regimens.

Current clinical intervention programs embraced by the industry merely scratch the surface of success as they focus solely on a patient’s medication therapy. The reality is that in […]

By |February 15th, 2016|Drug Utilization Review, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on Innovating Clinical Intervention

6 Ways Pain Management is Mismanaged

There is a significant body of evidence suggesting that many Americans suffer from chronic pain and much of that pain is inadequately or ineffectively treated. Particularly in the case of chronic pain treatment via opioid analgesics, proper chronic pain management is critical in determining whether opioids are used in a manner that is both medically appropriate and in compliance with regulations. Pain management is an important area of patient care that is integral to the practice of medicine, yet so often it is mismanaged. Here we review six most […]

By |January 30th, 2016|Drug Utilization Review, Medical Cost Containment, Opioid Abuse, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on 6 Ways Pain Management is Mismanaged

Abuse Deterrent Opioids a New Era of Opioid Drug Development

The prevalence of opioid use and abuse has led to a new era of opioid drug development: Abuse deterrent (AD) opioids.

The goal?….

Maintain the efficacy of opioid formulations while improving their ability to deter abuse. Following guidelines developed by the FDA to categorize new opioid formulations, pharmaceutical companies are now on a quest to develop tomorrow’s safety net against opioid abuse.

How will the FDA be categorizing these new AD opioid formulations?

  1. Physical/chemical barriers
    Physical barriers that prevent the crushing, cutting, grating, grinding, or chewing of opioid formulations, alone or in combination […]

By |January 15th, 2016|Drug Utilization Review, Opioid Abuse, Pharmaceutical Industry|Comments Off on Abuse Deterrent Opioids a New Era of Opioid Drug Development
  • Steps to combat the opioid epidemic using ANS drug utilization review
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    Strategies to Reduce Patient Reliance on Opioids Postoperatively

Strategies to Reduce Patient Reliance on Opioids Postoperatively

Surgeons across the nation are increasing efforts to reduce their overall use of opioids for the long term treatment of chronic pain post-operatively. The driving force- Curtailing the opioid abuse epidemic, an unfortunate but growing trend.

Well-Documented Risks
An epidemic effecting 5 million Americans, half of all opioid-related overdose deaths in the U.S. have been linked to prescription drugs – not “street” or “recreational” drugs. Opioid use, even short term, is particularly problematic for patients with a history of substance abuse.

Changing Practices
Seeing the effects of this epidemic, many surgeons are taking […]

By |December 30th, 2015|Drug Utilization Review, Medical Cost Containment, Opioid Abuse, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on Strategies to Reduce Patient Reliance on Opioids Postoperatively

Chronic Pain Treatment: Impacts of Drug-Drug Interactions

Polypharmacy, the use of 4 or more medications simultaneously, is a dangerous but frequent practice for chronic pain patients. Unfortunately, because many patients undergoing chronic pain treatment suffer multiple chronic health issues, exposure to drug-drug interactions (DDI) is a common but unintended result, leading to severe consequences for the physical health of patients, as well as a significantly increased financial burden for all involved: patients, providers, and society.

What defines a drug-drug interaction?

A pharmacokinetic DDI involves two or more drugs interacting in such a way that the effectiveness and/or toxicity […]

By |December 15th, 2015|Drug Utilization Review, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on Chronic Pain Treatment: Impacts of Drug-Drug Interactions

The Perils of Polypharmacy

Pharmacotherapy review reduces costs and minimizes risks present by polypharmacyIn the context of large loss workers compensation claims and the treatment of pain in injured workers, polypharmacy is typically associated with the use of four or more medications. As a result, polypharmacy creates an environment where several complications can occur. Here we delve into some critical issues affecting the injured worker as a result of polypharmacy: compliance, drug interaction and risk of addiction.

Dosage Compliance & Drug Interactions

To put it […]

By |November 30th, 2015|Opioid Abuse, Pharmaceutical Industry, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on The Perils of Polypharmacy

6 Benefits of ANS Legal Nurse Consulting Services

ANS legal nurse consulting services delivered by network of legal nurse expertsThe specialized skill-set of legal nurse consultants can play a crucial role in claim settlement and medical legal cases. Here we review six benefits of the services provided by ANS’s highly credentialed and experienced legal nurse consultants:

1) Critical Analysis

Through the critical analysis of medical records, our nurse experts summarize critical events in a case’s history to identify issues such as causality, scope of damages, and standards of care. […]

By |November 15th, 2015|Legal Nurse Consulting, Workers Compensation Payers|Comments Off on 6 Benefits of ANS Legal Nurse Consulting Services