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Drugs in Workers Comp – Survey Report

My firm’s third annual survey of prescription drug management in workers comp has been completed, and here are a few of the findings.
1. Drug costs increased slightly more than 10% last year, a “decrease in the rate of increase” over prior years.
2. Respondents, which ranged from small regional payers to the largest national insurers, are getting more sophisticated about drugs and drug management. This is evidenced by respondents’ increasing focus on clinical management programs; access to more and better data about their programs and results thereof; and greater attention on utilization vs. price.
3. Third party billers continue to frustrate payers, with almost 90% viewing TPBs as problematic. Concerns included reduced data quality, increased administrative problems and workload, and increased costs.
4. Drug repackaging is also high on respondents’ lists of problems, with particular emphasis on the California situation and physician dispensing.
A copy of the survey report can be obtained by emailing me at

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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