Boca Raton, FL – The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) is examining the growing issues related to opioid use in America through a three-part series, On Opioids. The series is aimed at exploring three viewpoints on issues surrounding opioid use and workers compensation: those of doctors, insurers, and regulators.
In the closing chapter of the three-part series, we hear from regulators from Colorado, Kentucky, and Maine, and share their thoughts on the impact that opioid use is having on the system.
Talking to Regulators
Although the opioid epidemic touches every corner of the country, the extent of the impact varies widely from state to state. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)1, “opioids—prescription and illicit—are the main driver of drug overdose deaths.” The CDC data shows that in 2016 there were 353 overdose deaths in Maine, 942 in Colorado, and 1,419 in Kentucky. In a concerted effort to address the opioid epidemic, regulation of opioid prescribing at the state level has increasingly been reverberating in state legislatures—some 1,700 bills have been introduced over the last two years.
In talking to regulators regarding efforts to address the opioid epidemic, they shared that:
- State regulation of opioid prescribing is a key factor
- Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) play a critical role in controlling opioid over-prescribing and abuse
- Physician buy-in is an important driver
- Transition programs for long-term users and opioid alternatives are emerging
- Healthcare literacy is part of the needed solution
Click here to read the final article: NCCI “On Opioids”: The Regulators’ Perspective
NCCI offered special thanks to regulators Paul Sighinolfi (Executive Director/Chair, Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), Paul Tauriello (Director, Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation), and Robert L. Swisher (Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims), who generously shared their insights.
For the On Opioids series, NCCI conducted interviews with doctors, insurers, and regulators to gather an array of opinions on the topic. The articles in the series reflect the viewpoints of experts interviewed, and do not necessarily represent the views of NCCI. The article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for informational purposes only. The information in the article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice.