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Kentucky chooses ODG for workers’ comp formulary and guidelines

Optum Workers' Comp
| Oct 24, 2018

The Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims (DWC) has chosen the Official Disability Guidelines (ODG) as its medical treatment guidelines and pharmacy formulary source. Workers’ compensation reform legislation enacted earlier this year (House Bill 2) required the DWC to develop or adopt a formulary, on or before December 31, 2018, and to develop or adopt additional evidenced-based medical treatment guidelines for areas including, but not limited to, chronic pain management and opioids, on or before December 31, 2019.

After the legislation was signed, DWC Commissioner Robert Swisher established two advisory committees charged with assisting in the formulary and guideline selection and rule development processes - a Medical Advisory Committee and a Regulatory Advisory Committee. The committees discussed experiences of other states and received presentations from publishers of the ODG guidelines and formulary and from the Reed Group who presented the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) guidelines and related formulary.

As Commissioner Swisher noted in his announcement, Kentucky joins several other states in adopting the ODG formulary and guidelines. Most recently, Indiana and Montana both selected ODG as their formulary source.

While ODG has been chosen as the formulary and guidelines source, DWC is still in the process of drafting regulations to implement the formulary and guidelines – including establishing effective dates.

The Optum Workers’ Comp and Auto No-Fault Government Affairs team has been closely following the progress of the advisory committees and providing input on best practices to committee members and DWC leadership over the last several months. We look forward to continuing this involvement during the rule development process.

Should you have any questions on this or any other public policy development topics, please contact our Government Affairs team at

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