In many states across the country where physician dispensing is allowed, policymakers are debating whether doctors should be paid significantly more than pharmacies for dispensing the same drug. In recent years, an increasing number of states made changes aimed at reducing the costs of physician-dispensed drugs. Issues related to physician dispensing in Maryland have been debated, but no change has been made.
This study looks at the prevalence and costs of physician dispensing on the Maryland workers’ compensation system. It includes trends in the frequency and costs of physician dispensing in the state and results of the price comparison between physician- and pharmacy-dispensed drugs. It also provides evidence that Maryland physicians dispensed some drugs with over-the-counter strength at a high price.
The data used for this report came from payors in Maryland that represented 37 percent of the claims in the state workers’ compensation system. There were 16,860 claims included that had more than seven days of lost time with injuries arising from October 1, 2007, to September 30, 2011, and prescriptions filled through March 31, 2012.
Physician Dispensing in the Maryland Workers’ Compensation System. Dongchun Wang, Te-Chun Liu, and Vennela Thumula. September 2013. WC-13-22.
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