Drugs dispensed by doctors rise sharply in Workers’ Comp

The volume of prescription drugs dispensed by doctors to injured employees is rising sharply nationwide, driving up Workers’ Compensation costs, according to a recent NCCI study.

NCCI’s “Workers Compensation Prescription Drug Study, 2010 Update” found a “dramatic increase in the portion of drug dollars associated with drugs dispensed by physicians.”

The study, which covered the period 1994 – 2008, found that “Workers’ Comp drug costs have always included some cost for physician-dispensed drugs,” but “recently, we have seen a sharp increase in these costs in almost every state.” The percentage of Workers’ Comp prescription dollars dispensed by physicians increased to more than 20% in 2008, up from more than 15% the prior year, according to the study. This increase occurs in older as well as newer claims.

The study also notes that OXYCONTIN® has become the top prescribed (in terms of paid dollars) WC Rx. The exploding growth of opioid usage in narcotics in Workers’ Comp has been well documented by NCCI and California Workers’ Comp Institute (CWCI). It behooves employers to know how medical providers are managing narcotic opioid scripts and claimants on those scripts.

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Drugs dispensed by doctors rise sharply in Workers’ Comp was last modified: August 26th, 2014 by Sarah McGorry