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What we found – the audit results

Our report on the audit of the Department of Labor’s federal employee (FECA) work comp pharmacy program is now public.

Key findings…during the audit period (FY 2015 – FY 2020):

    • 1330 oral fentanyl scripts were dispensed and paid for without evidence of required cancer diagnosis (remember Actiq and Fentora?)
      • that does NOT include any such scripts that were dispensed and paid for BEFORE the audit period
    • over 25,000 scripts that should not have been filled were.
    • Agencies, Departments, and taxpayers spent $300+ million more than they should have because they didn’t use competitive pricing metrics and methods
    • DOL failed to address opioids and compounds in a timely manner…in both cases DOL was years behind the private sector and state government comp programs
    • The FECA program – which is the biggest single work comp payer in the nation – didn’t have a full time medical director OR clinical pharmacist.

Before you ask…we did not assess or otherwise study the potential impact of these findings on injured workers as that was outside the scope of the project.

The audit covers Fiscal years 2015 – 2020; the analysts and pharmacists at HealthPlan Data Solutions did the analytical heavy lifting, crunching data on millions of scripts and reimbursements. HDS handled the clinical questions as well. CompPharma provided a lot of the qualitative assessment and program operational benchmarks. (Thanks to all who participate in our Annual Survey of Drug Management in WC.)

CPA firm HRK was the lead on this (they speak Federalease and have the right credentials to navigate the Federal contracting system).

Note – Haven’t been able to post for days due to server problems (I’m blaming Putin’s hackers)…and as many of you told me (thanks!) the blog site was down for a while as well. Thanks for your patience and keep those emails re service outages coming.

What does this mean for you?

Audits can be really useful. 

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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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