OH BWC Proposes Opioid Rule for Workers’ Comp

ohio7Acting CEO Sarah Morrison announced a new rule for opioid prescribing to support the health and safety of workers in Ohio.  The rule would be the first of its kind and define best medical practices for the use of opioid prescribing.

Under the new rule opioid reimbursement would be limited to only those claims that followed the best medical guidelines.  The rule is built upon the best practices that were developed by Governor Kasich’s Cabinet Opioid Action Team that looked to address the needs of injured workers.  The goal of the best practices is to ensure that the treatment of injured workers from the onset of injury, throughout the course of treatment, and ultimately to get them back to work as quickly and safely as possible.

The rule would also allow the BWC to provide dependency treatment that arises from covered opioid use by the BWC.  This could include psychological treatment or medication prescribing.  The BWC would also have a peer review for doctors who do not follow best practices.

BWC began making improvements to its pharmacy program in 2010 to ensure injured workers receive medications necessary for their recovery without endangering their health and safety. Since the creation of BWC’s first-ever formulary, there has been an ongoing reduction in prescriptions for opiates. Total opioid doses have decreased by 23.8 million, or 41 percent, since 2010.

If approved the rule would become effective Oct. 1, 2016, it is slated to be voted on by the Board of Directors on May 26th.

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