The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute found that out of 25 states in 2016, 55% to 85% of injured workers who missed more than seven days of work were prescribed an opioid prescription for pain.
The more frequent prescriptions are given out, the more likely an injured worker will get hooked and unable to return to work. Even when a claim has been settled, an injured worker may still be receiving painkillers. Some states are cracking down on this problem by passing laws and leading programs to wean injured workers off opioids. Employers, including staffing companies, should be aware of these efforts.
In Massachusetts, a volunteer program is expediting medication hearings to settle disputes quickly, and guide workers toward alternatives to deal with pain. Kentucky passed a law this summer, regulating pain clinics, and set standards for dispensing and prescribing opioids. The result has already borne fruit for workers’ comp patients, according to recent data. The proportion of Kentucky workers with pain medications who received opioids in the first 12 months after injury decreased from 54% before the new law to 44% post legislation.
The quicker injured workers are off painkillers, they’ll be healthier and back to work faster. That means lower workers’ comp costs for employers. LeastStaff has many workers’ comp and general insurance solutions to keep your insurance rates as low as possible.