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First Survey of Opioids in Work Comp – initial results

We’re plowing thru the responses from 400 front-line and management folks who responded to HSA’s first Survey of Opioids in Workers’ Comp; thanks to CID Management for sponsoring the Survey.

Thanks also to the folks who took the time to complete the Survey; they’ll each get a detailed Survey Report (out in a couple of weeks). Fellow New Englander Andrew Burton won the drawing for the iPad mini; here’s the handsome devil himself…

andrew burton

Here are a few of the initial findings;

  • more than 80% of ALL respondents said opioids lead to addiction, increase disability duration, and increase the risk of fraud and abuse
  • more than half think the problem is getting worse or significantly worse
  • that’s not to say respondents think opioids have no place in work comp, in fact more than 90% believe there is an appropriate role for opioids
  • over 94% of both groups indicated the treating physician was their pick for “whose responsibility it it to manage opioids”
  • over 45% of both groups believe payers have been somewhat or very ineffective in addressing opioids...the cause of this is primarily due to regulatory restrictions, although internal obstacles are considered a very significant contributor as well.
  • Re solutions, about 80% listed
    • peer/physician review for claims > 90/180 days,
    • drug utilization review,
    • random drug testing, and
    • opioid agreement/contracts as components of the ideal solution.

Lots more to come as we’ve got a couple gigabytes of data to review and cross-tabulate.  There will also be a webinar on the Survey results in early November, and I’ll be at CID-M’s booth in Vegas to answer questions about the Survey as well.

Will get you more details shortly.

Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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