PAYMENT PER CLAIM FOR DRUGS
PRESCRIBED TO FLORIDA INJURED WORKERS WAS NEARLY 40 PERCENT
HIGHER THAN STUDY MEDIAN, SAYS WCRI STUDY
CAMBRIDGE, MA, April 14, 2010 –
The payment per claim for prescription drugs used to treat
injured workers in Florida was nearly 40 percent higher than
in most study states, according to a new study by the
Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).
16-state study by the Cambridge, MA-based WCRI found that
the average payment per claim for prescription drugs in
Florida’s workers’ compensation system was $565—38 percent
higher than the median of the study states.
reason for the higher prescription costs in Florida was that
some physicians wrote prescriptions and dispensed the
prescribed medications directly to their patients. When
physicians dispensed prescription drugs, they often were
paid much more than pharmacies for the same prescription.
study, Prescription Benchmarks for Florida, found
that some Florida physicians wrote prescriptions more often
for certain drugs that were especially profitable. For
example, Carisoprodol (Soma®, a muscle relaxant)
was prescribed for 11 percent of the Florida injured workers
with prescriptions, compared to 2 to 4 percent in most other
Financial incentives may help explain more frequent
prescription of the drug, as the study suggested. The price
per pill paid to Florida physician dispensers for
Carisoprodol was 4 times higher than if the same
prescription was filled at pharmacies in the state.
reported that the average number of prescriptions per claim
in Florida was 17 percent higher than in the median state.
Similar results can be seen in the average number of pills
noted that prices paid to Florida pharmacies were at the
median of the 16 study states, due to Florida’s typical
pharmacy fee schedule, which is set at the level of the
Average Wholesale Price.
study is the first in an annual series that benchmarks the
cost, price and utilization of pharmaceuticals in workers’
Compensation Research Institute is a nonpartisan,
not-for-profit membership organization conducting public
policy research on workers’ compensation, healthcare and
disability issues. Its members include employers, insurers,
insurance regulators and state administrative agencies in
the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as
several state labor organizations.