Opioids will be the biggest problem the workers’ comp industry faces over the next few years. WCRI’s hosting a webinar on the issue later this month, and I’d encourage you to sign up (do it fast, there’s a limit on attendees).
For those unaware of recent research on the issue, here are a few of the issues:
- there’s huge variation among and between the states; according to WCRI’s latest research, 17% of Louisiana claimants who started using opioids were still using them 3-6 months later, compared to about 3 percent in Arizona. Clearly the risk of addiction/dependency in LA is much higher than in AZ.
- Less than a quarter of all long-term opioid users were tested for drugs via urine drug screening. When you factor in drug testing data that indicates a substantial percentage of claimants prescribed opioids don’t have evidence they’re taking them, it is clear employers and insurers are paying millions for opioids that may not be used for the intended purpose (to be generous).
- In California, claimants prescribed opioids are off work 3.6 times longer; litigation is 60 percent higher, and their claim costs are twice as high as claimants who don’t receive opioids.
If opioids aren’t on your radar, they soon will be.
If not, you must be in Arizona.
What does this mean for you?
Sign up for the webinar