WorkCompCentral’s Joey Berlin wrote up the details of a presentation on chronic pain treatment featuring Gary Franklin MD, Medical Director of Washington state fund L&I, Kathryn Mueller MD, Medical Director of Colorado’s Work Comp department, Noah Aleshire of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and John Hanna PharmD, Pharmacy Director of Ohio BWC.
This august panel laid out the problem and discussed the potential for solutions including cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise, tight dosing and opioid treatment guidelines, and tight formularies. Hanna’s BWC has made solid progress in reducing the number of long-term claimants on opioids, adding more support for the expansion of formularies – and the tight UR rules that make them effective – to other states.
Kudos to CDC for bringing these folks together.
Mail order pharmacy IWP has been sold.
The auction had been going on for several months, with many private equity firms taking an initial look at the company; the new owners are a quad-umvirate (my new word) comprised of PE firms ACON and Triton Pacific along with two individuals, Patrick Keefe and Tracy Finn.
I’m not a fan of IWP; they rely on doctors and attorneys to get injured workers to use their pharmacy services, claiming that these worthies do it because the workers can’t get their drug otherwise. While that may be true for a (very) few claimants, it most certainly is not for the vast majority. So, why do docs use IWP? That was the question asked by several of the potential investors I spoke with, and none were comfortable with the answers.
CEO Ken Martino is a long-time friend and colleague, much as I respect the guy I just don’t see the value and the distribution model is a question mark.
Sticking with the pharmacy story line, IAIABC is hosting a primer on Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs on August 26. PDMPs are another piece of the solution to the opioid disaster, helping to prevent doctor shopping, duplicate therapy, fraud and diversion. Sign up here.
Payers – insurers, TPAs, and self-insured employers – should pay particular attention as some states allow payers and their agents to access PDMP data, while others don’t.
Off to work – enjoy your mid-summer weekend!