Early Predictors of Longer-Term Opioid Dispensing

By Bogdan Savych, Vennela Thumula

October 22, 2020 Related Topics: Physician Dispensing, Prescription Drugs and Opioids

Despite substantial reductions in recent years, opioids continue to be widely dispensed to workers with work-related injuries in several states. Longer-term opioid dispensing for workers with work-related injuries can lead to increased disability duration and even death.

This study identifies which patients are more likely to develop longer-term opioid use, given what is known about the worker, nature of the injury, and nature of the medical care early in the claim. These findings can help policymakers and stakeholders in targeting policies and programs aimed at reducing longer-term use of opioids to the appropriate worker.

The data for this study include workers with more than seven days of lost time who had injuries between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016, from 33 states. The study was authored by Dr. Bogdan Savych and Dr. Vennela Thumula.

Early Predictors of Longer-Term Opioid Dispensing. Bogdan Savych and Vennela Thumula. October 2020. WC-20-43.

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Research Questions:

  1. What information available early after a work-related injury is predictive of whether workers have longer-term opioid prescribing?
  2. What are the strongest predictors of longer-term prescribing?

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