Washington, DC – The American Insurance Association (AIA) endorsed the Brandeis University’s PDMP Center of Excellence report recommending broad access to prescription drug monitoring data to third party payers, to leverage payers in the fight against opioid abuse in the workers’ compensation system. The report, “PDMPs and Third Party Payers Meeting; Report of Proceedings, January 2014” emphasized the importance of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in mitigating the abuse of prescription drugs and to urge greater utilization of PDMPs by third party payers. Opioid abuse continues to be a leading cost in the workers’ compensation system for both employers and insurers.
“AIA thanks the Brandeis University’s PDMP Center of Excellence for its continued leadership in combating the issue of opioid abuse,” said Leigh Ann Pusey, AIA President & CEO. “The continued human and socio-economic cost of opioid abuse is staggering. This report highlights why states should expand the sharing of PDMP data to encompass third party-payers.”
The Brandeis report distills recommendations from working groups comprised of public and private payers which evaluated the public policy challenges embodied in the sharing and use of PDMP data. The working groups concluded unanimously that sharing of PDMP data with third party payers, and with necessary protections for the data, can deter opioid abuse. This is important to workers’ compensation payers, in particular, because only two-to-three percent of all medical costs in the United States are associated with workers’ compensation treatment. Thus, workers’ compensation payers are unable to see what opioids injured workers might be receiving from other benefit systems or by paying cash.
“Sharing of PDMP data better allows for insurers and other payers to better-spot, respond and prevent opioid abuse,” said Bruce C. Wood, AIA Associate General Counsel & Director, Workers’ Compensation. “Ultimately the goal is for the injured worker to get back to work, timely, and without the physical and psychological effects of opioid abuse.”
These working group recommendations are the product of a symposium held at Georgetown University in December 2012, at which AIA and other representatives of the property & casualty insurance industry participated. The Brandeis report is being released in conjunction with the National RX Drug Abuse Summit, in Atlanta April 22-24. AIA Associate General Counsel & Director, Workers’ Compensation, Bruce Wood, is participating on a panel devoted to discussing the Brandeis report.