Chronic pain affects a staggering 100 million Americans. Its prevalence continues to rise, and with it, so does the incidence of those using prescription narcotics like opioids for pain. The workers comp industry is working hard – and succeeding – in curbing narcotic use in chronic pain cases (especially compared to the public center). However, this mode of treatment continues to be a wrench in the works of positive treatment outcomes.
When a workers comp claim involves narcotic use, claim costs rise $20,000 more, on average, than those without. Other increases include indirect costs, such as the probability of chronic work loss – where the incidence is six times greater when opioids are involved.
How Can You Help Buck the Trend?
The faster injuries are reported and addressed, the better the prognosis.
Drug utilization review should occur often, at specific points in the claim, with drug types and duration of use closely monitored, and alternatives to narcotics prescribed whenever appropriate.
With the help of third party administrators that take advantage of predictive analytics for monitoring claims expenses. These can help you identify claims patterns surrounding narcotic use so you can pinpoint problems and brainstorm collaborative solutions for improving patient outcomes.
Strive for Return-to-Work
Any time a worker is injured to the point they lose time from work, there is a risk they may not return-to-work. With narcotics usage, this risk is significantly higher. Boost success with frequent employer/employee contact and modified duty whenever possible.
Curb narcotic use with proven tactics, doing your part to help control the rising opioid epidemic. Contact MinnesotaCompAdvisor to learn more today.