Sharing our perspective

Sharing perspectives leads to greater understanding and fuels innovation. The ​Optum Insights ​blog is where we share our perspective and challenge preconceptions to clear a new path forward.


  • California anticipates delay to MTUS formulary implementation, demonstrating commitment to getting it done right rather than fast

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    | May 26, 2017
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    Workers' Compensation, Formularies
    In a measure of wisdom and prudence, leadership with the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) confirmed to our team in a recent discussion that they anticipate a delay in the implementation of the formulary until January 1, 2018. The anticipated delay is deliberate and serves to allow time for stakeholders to program the necessary changes, as well as provides California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) leadership time to educate physicians and injured workers on how the formulary is intended to work.


  • Montana Legislature Grants Department of Labor and Industry Authority to Adopt a Formulary

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    | May 26, 2017
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    Workers' Compensation, Formularies
    Montana Governor Steve Bullock has signed legislation granting the Department of Labor and Industry explicit authority to adopt a drug formulary as part of its existing utilization and treatment guidelines. The legislation, SB 312, permits the Department to annually adopt either an evidence-based commercial or other evidence-based drug formulary. If a commercial formulary is adopted, only that initial adoption is subject to the full rule-making process (including public comment period); the formulary would automatically include all of the changes and updates furnished by the commercial vendor that are made during the year. The Department would also be required to provide an appropriate transition for medication treatment which began prior to adoption of the formulary, along with a timely and responsive dispute resolution process.


  • Anoxic Brain Injury: An Underreported and Oftentimes Overlooked Consequence of Overdose

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    • Dr. Robert Hall
    | May 23, 2017
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    Opioids, Naloxone
    A few weeks back, a new patient of mine was accompanied into the examination room by his daughter. Although he was in his mid-50’s, he needed a significant amount of assistance due to decreased balance and unsteady walking. The reason for the referral was to evaluate the cause of his right shoulder and neck pain and hand numbness, which were ultimately found to be due to a pinched nerve. While we were discussing his symptoms, I asked if he had ever been treated for a brain injury.


  • To Be or Not to Be – the Fate of the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Drug Formulary

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    | May 18, 2017
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    Formularies, Opioids, PDMPs
    The debate over a drug formulary for the Louisiana workers’ compensation system rages on in the halls of the capitol in Baton Rouge. In one of the latest turns, the Workforce Commission and the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration made a joint public proclamation opposing drug formularies as “unproven” and “unnecessary”, suggesting instead that other proposed controls will reduce the prescribing of opioids. The proposed controls would cover all sectors of the healthcare system and are not specific to workers’ compensation. The controls include a recommended seven-day limit for initial opioid prescriptions and the mandatory review of the patient’s Schedule II medication history in the state’s prescription drug monitoring program. While we agree these controls will have an impact, we think it is important to engage every reasonable tool at our disposal to combat the current opioid epidemic.






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