A new study notes that prescriptions for opioids for work injuries have grown 41% from 2003 to 2011 and are affecting increasing claims costs. Opioids are powerful drugs with significant potential side-effects and consequences and should be viewed and taken with caution. Side effects include nausea, constipation, dizziness, inability to drive and potential for addiction to name a few.
Workers compensation costs have skyrocketed, creating a mass of affordability problems for employers and insurance professionals, and producing a profit just once in the past 15 years. According to workers compensation and managed care expert Joe Paduda, one thing is fueling those issues more than any other: opioid abuse.
Paduda said the increase in opioid use to treat work-related injuries has been “stunning,” with the number of prescriptions growing 41% from 2003 to 2011, and “directly affect[ing] claims costs.”
Claims managers and others working directly with workers comp seem to agree.