If only Florida (‘s commitment to patient safety and responsible prescribing and good workers’ comp medical care) was like California.
The Sunshine State’s work comp regulators and legislators don’t seem to care about patient safety or employer/taxpayer costs – at least not when it comes to drugs.
If they did, payers wouldn’t have to:
- pay an upcharge for physician-dispensed drugs,
- argue that physicians aren’t pharmacists (yes, really),
- argue that drugs dispensed by physicians should be evaluated for patient safety
Neither will most employers.
I get workers’ comp premiums will continue to decline, leaving fewer and fewer dollars for administrative tasks, like, you know, government affairs.
I get workers’ comp is hugely profitable.
I also get that this will change – and when it does those insurers will be looking for nickels in the couch cushions – nickels (and dimes and dollars) they ignored when things were going great.
Right now, payers and employers need to weigh in and tell Florida regulators that Physicians are NOT pharmacies – and therefore patients don’t get to pick a physician to be their pharmacy.
This is a major patient safety issue; physician-dispensed drugs aren’t subject to many of the electronic edits that pharmacy-dispensed drugs are.
So, physicians are almost certainly giving patients drugs that:
- duplicate patients’ other scripts
- conflict with patients’ other scripts
- aren’t appropriate for that patient.
What does this mean for you.
Fight your own battles. I’m not going to do it for you.
From a post way back in 2014…
There is NO reason, no rationale, no logic behind docs dispensing drugs to workers comp claimants.
Proponents claim it is better care, leading to speedier recovery and lower costs.
We long suspected the opposite is true; that is, claimants getting drugs from docs get more treatment, incur higher medical costs, are out of work longer and run up bigger claim costs than claimants with the exact same injury who don’t get pills from their physicians.
Thanks to CWCI, we know that’s the real impact of doc dispensing.
Now, we know even more – we know that dispensing docs prescribe more opioids for longer times, thereby increasing the risk of addiction and drug diversion and overdoses and death. Thanks to a research paper authored by Johns Hopkins University Medical School and Accident Fund, there’s clear and convincing proof that doc dispensing is a highly risky, very dangerous, and very expensive proposition.
Here is the money quote:
“we found 39% higher medical costs, 27% higher indemnity costs, and 34% higher frequency of lost-time days associated with physician-dispensed versus pharmacy-dispensed medication. We found even more striking differences related to physician-dispensed opioids versus pharmacy dispensed opioids. The effect was nearly doubled and revealed 78% higher medical costs, 57% higher indemnity costs, and 85% higher frequency of lost-time days associated with physician-dispensed versus pharmacy-dispensed medication. [emphasis added]