June 12, 2018

WorkCompRecap: MEDs & Mental Health!

Today’s issue of WorkCompRecap features the release of a new report from CWCI that tracked changes in the prevalence, volume and strength of opioid prescriptions in California work injury lost-time claims that involved a mental health component, and compares those results to indemnity claims without.

Key findings included that 1/4-1/3 of workers’ comp indemnity claims (with or without a mental health disorder) had opioids dispensed within three months of injury, with opioids slightly less prevalent among claims with mental health disorders during the acute injury phase. By 12 months post injury, opioids were more prevalent in claims with mental health disorders for all accident years except 2015 and 2016. At 24, 36, 48 and 60 months post injury, opioids were more prevalent among mental health claims from all 10 years. Average potency of opioids dispensed was also higher. For AY 2011 injuries for example, average morphine milligram equivalent (MME) per opioid prescription was 51.4% higher than claims without mental health disorders.

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