Interstate Variation and Trends in Workers’ Compensation Drug Payments, 5th Edition—A WCRI FlashReport

By Vennela Thumula, Te-Chun Liu, Dongchun Wang

June 20, 2024 Related Topics: Physician Dispensing, Rx Drugs and Opioids

This study provides a high-level view of the changing costs of prescription drugs in workers’ compensation in recent years through the first quarter of 2023 across 28 states. It categorizes prescription drugs into several key groups (dermatological agents, NSAIDs, opioids, anticonvulsants, etc.), which account for the majority of all payments for prescription drugs in workers' compensation. This allows for an analysis of where the prescribing dollars are being spent and whether spending on these drug groups is increasing or decreasing.

The study includes prescriptions dispensed for non-COVID-19 claims with injuries occurring within three years of the prescription fill date and paid under workers' compensation during each quarter. The 28 states included in the study are Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Interstate Variation and Trends in Workers’ Compensation Drug Payments, 5th Edition—A WCRI FlashReport. Vennela Thumula, Te-Chun Liu, and Dongchun Wang. June 2024. FR-24-02.


Copyright: WCRI

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Research Questions:

  • Which drug groups make up higher shares of prescription payments under workers’ compensation?
  • How do states compare on prescription drug payments, overall and by drug group?
  • Did the prescription payments increase or decrease?
  • Is physician dispensing driving prescription drug payments for any drug groups in any states?
  • Are there certain drugs contributing to prescription cost increases in your state?

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