Articles

Sharing information with the industry is an important part of our mission. Our subject matter experts translate today’s news into comprehensive educational pieces to help you better understand the impact of a recent industry update, trend, or issue. Through our sponsorship on Risk & Insurance magazine and other media opportunities, we have written many informative articles on topics of interest to the industry. A list of these articles and links are below:



  • Opioid analgesics have the potential to affect every major body system

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    Opioids, NSAIDs

    The side effects of opioid analgesics often outweigh the benefits of their painrelieving properties. To illustrate these effects, we share the story of Tom, a 49-year-old man who injured his back when he tripped while unloading his truck. He lost his balance, fell, and twisted his lower back, causing immediate right-sided, low-back pain.


  • Collaborative village

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    Treatment Plans, Catastrophic Care

    A catastrophic injury requires planning and collaboration among families, health care professionals, payers, and other support organizations. Learn how a collaborative village can help manage the intricacies and challenges from a catastrophic injury, and address the often unseen and unaddressed issues, such as emotional wounds.


  • Shifting the emphasis of medication management beyond transaction costs

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    Cost Savings

    The rapidly increasing costs of medications are making headlines. In fact, in our 2015 Workers’ Compensation Drug Trends Report, we reported an 11.4% increase in Average Wholesale Price (AWP)—the highest we’ve ever reported. Click here to learn how working together, we can mitigate the factors that influence spend, while also improving outcomes for injured workers.


  • The negative effects opioids can have on multiple body systems

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    Chronic Pain, Opioids

    The side effects of opioids often outweigh the benefits of their pain-relieving properties. To illustrate these effects, we share the story of Anne, a 45 year-old woman who was injured at work, and how chronic opioid therapy impacted nearly all of her body systems and caused profound side effects. Click here to learn Anne's story and the negative impact of opioids on multiple body systems.


  • The politics of workers' compensation

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    Medical Marijuana, Compounded Medications, Formularies, PDMPs, Workers' Compensation

    When opening gavels fell on legislative sessions around the country, it quickly became apparent that workers’ compensation topics were going to be on the agenda this year, from closed formularies and Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) to medical marijuana and compounded medications. Learn more about these and other workers' compensation topics, click here.


  • Average wholesale price inflation continues

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    Generics, Cost Savings

    The Average Wholesale Price (AWP) of brand and generic medications regularly changes. The workers’ compensation industry has historically seen higher increases in AWP inflation for brand medications than generics. And while AWP inflation still remains higher for brand medications, generic AWP saw unprecedented increases in 2014. Learn more about the causes of AWP inflation and how to mitigate its impact, click here.


  • Evaluating compounded medications

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    Compounded Medications

    Compounded medications often raise questions about safety, efficacy, and costs. Payers should evaluate the use of compounded medications based on the specific needs of the injured person. To help with this evaluation, we’ve compiled a list of questions that can help you carefully consider their use. Click here to learn the 17 questions to ask when considering compounded medications.


  • Prescriber influence

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    Workers' Compensation

    The increasing demand for medical care due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is changing the healthcare landscape, and expanding the role of Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) in healthcare. Learn more about the impact this has had on prescribing practices in the workers' compensation industry, click here.


  • Ensuring proper management of settlement funds for Medicare beneficiaries

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    Medicare Advantage Plans, Settlement

    When a workers' compensation claim is ready for settlement, an evaluation is needed to determine the future expenses of the claim while ensuring Medicare's interests are protected. This article explains the settlement process and how to ensure brighter outcomes for all parties involved. Click here to learn more.


  • Medication monitoring curbs prescription medication misuse

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    Clinical Intervention, Opioids

    With the use of opioids comes a risk of misuse and abuse. Industry guidelines recommend patients on chronic opioid therapy be monitored for prescription compliance. In March 2013, we began a study to assess the criteria used to identify potentially high-risk injured workers who may benefit from the additional clinical oversight of a Drug Testing and Monitoring service. Click here to learn the results.


  • The price of compounded medications

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    Compounded Medications

    With the recent death of an infant accidentally exposed to a compounded medication, concerns about the safety of these medications has come to light. This article reviews the exorbitant costs of compounded medications, legislation influencing these medications, and how clinical oversight and advocacy can help manage their utilization. Learn more, click here.


  • ​Safe and appropriate use of opioids begins at the moment of injury

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    Overdose, Opioids

    The use of opioid analgesics is prevalent in workers’ compensation and there is considerable concern about its safe and effective use. However, managed proactively with the assistance of a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), opioids can be a safe and appropriate part of an injured worker’s medication therapy regimen. Learn how, click here.


  • Positive changes bend the curve of opioid misuse and abuse

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    Overdose, Opioids

    Opioid misuse and abuse has been an ongoing concern, including in the workers’ compensation industry. The industry, however, is changing, with regulation/legislation, abuse-deterrent formulations, greater awareness, and collaboration. Learn more about how these efforts are bending the curve away from high-cost abuse situations, click here.


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