The study, Longer-Term Dispensing of Opioids, 4th Edition, by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), examined trends of longer-term dispensing of opioids in 26 state workers’ compensation systems. It also documents how often the services such as drug testing, psychological evaluation and treatment recommended by treatment guidelines were used for managing chronic opioid therapy.
WCRI released this sample of the study’s findings:
- The frequency of claims that received opioids on a longer-term basis decreased more than four percentage points in Kentucky and New York. The same measure decreased two to three percentage points in several other states (Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota and Tennessee). Noticeable decreases in the longer-term dispensing of opioids were also seen in several other states, including California, Florida and Texas, with reductions of one to two percentage points.
- Among claims with injuries in 2013 that were observed over a two-year time period ending March 2015, longer-term dispensing of opioids was most prevalent in Louisiana—1 in 6 injured workers with opioid prescriptions were identified as receiving longer-term opioids. Compared with most study states, the number was also higher in California, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas. By contrast, about 1 in 25 injured workers with opioid prescriptions received them on a longer-term basis in Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, and Wisconsin.
- The study continued to find that fewer than expected injured workers who received opioids on a longer-term basis had certain services (i.e., drug testing, psychological evaluation and treatment, etc.) recommended by treatment guidelines for chronic opioid management. For example, in 19 out of 26 states, less than 10 percent of injured workers with longer-term opioids received psychological evaluations.
Read the Full Article on Insurance Journal HERE.