State Workers Compensation Programs Try to Stem Overprescribing of Opioids

State workers compensation programs are trying to curtail the overprescribing of opioid painkillers to workers who are injured on the job, according to the Associated Press.

About 2.8 million private industry employees and 752,000 public sector workers suffered nonfatal workplace injuries in 2015.

More than half of those injuries resulted in time away from work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A survey by the industry group CompPharma found more than $1.5 billion was spent on opioids by workers compensation insurers in 2015.

The New York Workers Compensation Board announced in October it would allow insurance companies to request hearings to determine whether a claimant should be weaned off opioids.

In Ohio, new rules state reimbursement for opioid prescriptions can be denied it if is believed doctors are overprescribing or otherwise not following “best medical practices” in treated injured workers.