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    Are Primary Care Physicians Leaving Opioid Deaths to Chance?

Are Primary Care Physicians Leaving Opioid Deaths to Chance?

A recently released study from the Journal of Addiction Medicine has uncovered an alarming trend. Patients with opioid addiction, also referred to as opioid use disorder (OUD), experience an alarmingly high death rate – one 10 times higher than those not suffering opioid addiction. Not surprisingly, the study has raised some tough questions about the existing treatment infrastructure, and the system’s failure to identify and aid such at-risk individuals.

The Sobering Stats

Using electronic health records from a major university healthcare system from more than 2,500 patients ranging in age from […]

By |May 8th, 2017|Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off
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    How Technology Is Shaping The Workers’ Compensation Industry

How Technology Is Shaping The Workers’ Compensation Industry

The technology now used within today’s workers’ comp industry is remarkable compared to what was available just a few decades prior. A dominant component of advocacy, claims, and treatment, technology is helping employers and insurers work the bugs out of the process, producing amazing results and the promise of even more unbelievable advancements on the horizon…

How is Technology Reshaping the Workers’ Compensation Industry?

  • Paper Falls by the Wayside
    • NOW: Endless forms and lost paperwork are no longer, replaced by automated forms, electronic signatures and correspondence that is both faster and easily […]

The ER and Opioids

A common thread has been found in opioid addiction, winding its way from the ER and into homes across the nation. Beginning as a single prescription for a minor issue or unexpected injury, ER physicians are inadvertently rolling the dice and chancing long-term addiction in their quest to simply relieve pain, when there could be better alternatives.

How Commonly are Opioids Tossed-Out in the ER?

Medical researchers studied hundreds of thousands of Medicare-paid ER admissions nationwide, and uncovered a surprising trend in standard approaches to treating […]

By |March 27th, 2017|Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off
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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 […]

By |February 13th, 2017|Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off

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 […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]