1 in 6 injured workers in Louisiana are “longer-term users of narcotics”

louisianaNot really a title any state pursues, but Louisiana wins the WCInsights NarcoComp award! A study sponsored by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) in 2012 points out a huge variation between states in the use of narcotics with long term injured workers. Arizona, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Indiana and Iowa were at the bottom, with a 1 in 20. New York keeps its sights set on the next title bout at 1 in 7.

This CFO article regarding Opioids and regular drug testing by payers focuses on the need for a regular testing program to make sure that the person isn’t becoming addicted. I agree that this is needed, along with protocols that doctors actually follow. But my real question is “Why is an injured worker in Louisiana over 3 times more likely to become a long term user than an injured worker in New Jersey?”

Set aside all the State v State cracks (scratch that, load us up with the jokes. We aren’t from NOLA, so its hard to get the meds). Where should we as an industry be focusing to bring this under control. I’m pretty certain that we all don’t want to move our operations to New Jersey. (There, I started it off)

What's your take? Continue the discussion with others over at the WCInsights LinkedIn Group.
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One Comment
  1. Insurers need an aggressive, targeted approach to investigating medical providers behind these statistics. How much does this cost the workers compensation carrier and does state law permit addictive, narcotic drug presciption as a reasonable treatment regimen? By investigating the doctor, the claims office can get to the root of the problem and end all claims where illegal practices are being committed.

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