Today’s issue of WorkCompRecap features the recent announcement from Travelers that it has seen a 30% reduction in the use of opioids among the more than 500,000 injured U.S. employees it has worked with since 2015, which it primarily attributed to the use of the its Early Severity Predictor model.
The model identifies the likelihood that someone will develop chronic pain – a leading cause of opioid dependency. Early Severity Predictor results are shared with physicians, allowing them to identify effective treatment alternatives, like physical therapy, and in some cases surgery is avoided to help ensure a safe recovery without the prolonged use of opioids. Since January 2016, surgeries for the company’s workers comp cases have fallen by 25%, and those who received alternative treatment methods recovered and returned to work 10% faster than those who did not. Travelers also noted that surgeries are often followed by opioid prescriptions, and that PT and other treatments limit exposure to opioids and often produce better long-term medical outcomes.
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