Insight, analysis & opinion from Joe Paduda

< Back to Home

Feb
17

Physician dispensing comes to Connecticut

Inflated costs for employers and insurers, higher taxes for state residents, and riskier medical treatment for injured workers – all are on the horizon if Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission Chairman Mastropietro allows physicians to dispense repackaged drugs to injured workers.
Mastropietro held a hearing yesterday where 4uDoctor attempted to convince all in attendance that the inflated cost of physician-dispensed repackaged drugs is actually a good deal.
Most weren’t buying their claims, nor should they. On the contrary, as their website states, 4uDoctor highlights their ability to”Generate significant additional ancillary revenue” for physicians.
4uDoctor’s claims for patient benefits are easily debunked.
There’s NO evidence that physician dispensing improves compliance, speeds return to work, or improves outcomes. None. Zilch. Nada. In fact, Chairman Mastropietro may want to focus on the patient safety issue; here’s why.
Work comp claimants are usually treated by docs that haven’t seen the claimant before the occupational injury; this almost always is the case in Connecticut where most employers can send injured workers to physicians who specialize in treating work comp conditions. While the WC doc certainly asks about prior medical history, current medications and the like, it is not uncommon for patients to forget which meds they take or be unable to accurately identify their drugs.
Not so big an issue if the claimant goes to their usual pharmacy, where the system will identify any potential conflicts and notify the dispensing pharmacist.
A bigger issue arises if the treating doc doesn’t get the full story, prescribes and dispenses meds that conflict with the claimants’ other meds. Then, the patient may be harmed, and because this harm comes as a result of treatment for a work comp injury, the employer is on the hook for any additional medical care.
To further rebut 4uDoctor’s argument for patient benefits, note that their dispensing is only for workers comp patients. Why can’t the docs’ other patients benefit from “improved compliance…convenience…confidentiality”? Perhaps it is because Medicare and group health plans won’t pay inflated prices, but work comp payers may be forced to (if the Commission doesn’t do the right thing).
.
What does this mean for you?
Physician dispensing drives up costs for employers, increases taxes, and kills jobs. This is little more than a big money-maker for a few, paid for by the rest of us.

If you agree, please pass this on to the Connecticut Workers Compensation Commission Chair at wcc.chairmansoffice@po.state.ct.us


One thought on “Physician dispensing comes to Connecticut”

  1. I heard someone say once that if it wasn’t for the patient, the WC system would be good for everybody. It does appear that the patient is often left out of the equation.

Comments are closed.

Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL

SEARCH THIS SITE

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.

 

DISCLAIMER

© Joe Paduda 2022. We encourage links to any material on this page. Fair use excerpts of material written by Joe Paduda may be used with attribution to Joe Paduda, Managed Care Matters.

Note: Some material on this page may be excerpted from other sources. In such cases, copyright is retained by the respective authors of those sources.

ARCHIVES

Archives