Today’s issue of WorkCompRecap features the release of a new study from WCRI that found that as states implement reforms to address issues related to overuse and misuse of opioids, there were observed decreases in the frequency and amount of opioids dispensed to injured workers in a majority of 26 study states. Higher utilization of opioids and other high-risk utilization patterns were seen in some states in the most recent study period, however.
Other interesting findings from the study included that despite reductions, opioid use was prevalent among nonsurgical claims with more than seven days of lost time. In 2013/2015, about 65-75% of these injured workers with pain medications received at least one opioid prescription in most of the study states. The study also found a sizable percentage of claims with opioids that were receiving chronic opioids (at least 60 days of opioids supply over any 90-day period) and at higher doses (average daily dose of opioids exceeding 50 and 90 morphine equivalent milligrams).
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