Tragedy has a way of spurring unexpected outcomes bringing people together from all walks of life and disciplines. Here are my observations on the paradigm shifts happening throughout workers’ compensation partly due to the global tragedy that is the opioid epidemic.
Another important July 1st deadline has come and gone for the California workers’ compensation community. As of mid-June, nearly half of California’s Utilization Review Organizations had yet to complete the accreditation process required by newly modified Labor Code section 4610(g)(4). Is the crawl to compliance due to a complacent system culture or a costly and complex accreditation process?
The crux of the opioid crisis is in unchecked, inappropriate prescribing habits. Absent of comprehensive medically responsible prescribing standards, today’s opioid issue has the potential to evolve into another prescription drug crisis. Are narrow legislative bills enough to keep injured workers safe and encourage a paradigm shift among prescribers?
Health care information technology may be making the world smaller in many ways, but wide divides remain in the care and claims continuum. Bridging the gaps in the workers’ compensation space requires a conscientious focus on collaboration, human to human. Collaboration effectively creates an interactive and adaptable system capable of delivering improved patient health outcomes.
The U.S. House of Representatives has held numerous information-gathering meetings. The divide that exists between state and federal government has never been more clear as the feds turn their focus on the success that state workers’ compensation systems are having in the war on opioid abuse. But, are all aspects of the crisis being considered?
Pennsylvania, who is hosting one of the fiercest battles in the war on opioids, will not adopt a nationally recognized evidence-based medicine drug formulary. Is this the outcome of Pennsylvania politics, the right move to preserve the doctor to patient relationship?
The importance of the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC) cannot be validated by someone continuing the work. Its importance was established in 2008 by U.S. Congress. Without appropriate oversight in the development of this content, anything might be called “quality” imperiling the well-being of injured workers. Here is my take on why “WorkComp Needs Quality Measures for Clinical Practice Guidelines”.
The national #WorkersCompensation community is at risk of losing the plot of the #OpioidEpidemic. The assault against opioid abuse may be relying too much on over-simplified medicine. It is essential to expand the conversation to emphasize the importance of the overall care of a patient and improve the tracking of health outcomes. The discussion can no longer be just about drugs and potential savings.
As Louisiana HB 592 moves through legislature, Texas’ workers’ compensation system is again the center of national discussion. Texas Commissioner Ryan Brennan doubled down on advocacy for other states to adopt the Texas-model formulary proclaiming it “a model for the nation” and “the inspiration for many other states’ proposed formularies” citing improvements in return-to-work, medical costs and access to care. Surely, a system as unique as Texas relies on more than a binary list of drugs to accomplish the outcomes documented in its 2016 biennial report. Here is “The Truth Regarding Outcomes in Texas and the Guideline Never Discussed”. Due to reference of the Texas Labor Code, I welcome feedback specifically from the legal community on this piece.
The debate in Louisiana on a drug formulary continues. While HB 592 is being sent to House floor for a vote early next week, HB 529 remains in waiting. Here are my thoughts on why the Texas-model may not produce the expected results in Louisiana.