COLUMBUS – The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors has approved BWC’s first ever formulary of medications approved for the treatment of injured workers. The outpatient formulary was established to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of treatment, limit the inappropriate use of medications and lower BWC’s prescription costs.
“Formularies are an industry standard that improve quality of care by enhancing the effectiveness and safety of the medications prescribed to Ohio’s injured workers while saving BWC an estimated $15 million,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephen Buehrer. “The formulary allows for a thorough clinical review of each medication, better monitoring and control of inappropriate use, and assures access to medications that aid in the recovery of injured workers and support their return to work.”
Each year BWC spends approximately $130 million on prescriptions for injured workers and the formulary is estimated to save $15 million by the end of calendar year 2012.
The formulary provides prescribers a concise list of medications approved for use in the outpatient treatment of conditions related to a claim, and information regarding any restrictions or limitations for the use of an approved medication. The formulary was developed using all medications that BWC has approved during the past three years as a baseline. BWC is developing an online tool to allow providers to easily verify if a particular medication is on the formulary.
BWC’s Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, which consists of pharmacists and physicians who advise BWC leadership on issues related to the use of medications, will review new medications on an as-needed basis before they are approved for use. The Committee will also conduct an annual review.
The formulary is expected to become effective by early September.
In other business, the board unanimously adopted a recommendation to reduce overall workers’ compensation base rates for private employers by an average of 4 percent beginning July 1. The cut will save employers approximately $65 million and unlike prior years, the average rate reduction will apply to employers regardless of whether they participated in incentive programs such as group rating.
The overall drop in base rates includes a decrease in the average rate for the Manufacturing Industry Group of 7 percent and the average rate for the Commercial Industry Group, which includes various retail and wholesale establishments, of 5 percent.
The rate change reflects an average reduction. Each employer’s actual rates incorporate overall claims cost trends within their specific industry as well as their own individual performance.
Source: Ohio BWC