States that have taken a multifaceted approach in responding to the opioid epidemic have realized a positive impact, according to a new report released today by the IAIABC at the WCI conference. The report, Opioid Policy Inventory, includes findings from a survey in which 33 states participated and can be downloaded at www.iaiabc.org/opioid-policy.
"The Opioid Policy Inventory was compiled to provide all stakeholders, including workers' compensation, a useful reference tool to inform policy and practice across the nation," said Jennifer Wolf Horejsh, executive director of IAIABC. "Sharing successes and how each state's laws and programs interrelate is crucial to maintaining progress on the opioid epidemic."
The Opioid Inventory Report highlights 23 strategies being used by 33 states. Every state in the report has implemented at least five strategies to address opioids, including prescription drug monitoring programs, community outreach programs and drug courts. Other popular approaches include expanding access to Naloxone, adopting Good Samaritan Laws and promoting take-back days. Those specific to workers’ compensation include utilization review, ex-parte communication, weaning regimens, and treatment guidelines.
Emerging strategies include restrictions on opioid day supply, dosage and pill counts, as well as abuse deterrent formulations.
While most policies are not specific to workers' compensation, it certainly has made an impact on the way claims with an opioid are managed. For example, the three-day supply cap for acute pain in Florida is applicable to all prescribers and payers.
"There is no single solution for the opioid epidemic," said Mark Pew, senior vice president at Preferred Medical, IAIABC Medical Issues Committee member and chairman for the development of this report. "We hope this report continues to spark conversation among states as they work to positively impact one of the most unprecedented health crises of our time using a variety of targeted, collaborative and multifaceted approaches."
About the IAIABC
The International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC) is an association of workers' compensation jurisdictional regulatory agencies and industry stakeholders who find solutions to reduce harm and aid recovery from occupational injuries and illnesses. The organization provides education, standards and resources to advance injured worker treatment. Learn more at iaiabc.org.