June 1, 2014 Related Topics: Prescription Drugs and Opioids
The issue this study addresses is very serious, which is how often doctors followed recommended treatment guidelines for monitoring injured workers who are longer-term users of opioids. This study will help public officials, employers, and other stakeholders understand as well as balance providing appropriate care to injured workers while reducing unnecessary risks to patients and costs to employers.
The study examined the prevalence of longer-term use of opioids in 25 states and how often the services recommended by medical treatment guidelines were used for monitoring and managing chronic opioid therapy. The recommended services include drug testing and psychological evaluations and treatment, which may help prevent opioid misuse resulting in addiction and even overdose deaths.
The study is based on approximately 264,000 workers’ compensation claims and 1.5 million prescriptions associated with those claims from 25 states. The claims represent injuries arising from October 1, 2007, to September 30, 2010, with prescriptions filled up to March 31, 2012. The underlying data reflect an average of 24 months of experience.
The following states are included in this study: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Longer-Term Use of Opioids, 2nd Edition. Dongchun Wang. May 2014. WC-14-19.
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