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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



  • Arizona enacts enhanced opioid controls for workers’ compensation claims

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    • Optum Workers' Comp
    | Apr 11, 2018
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    Drug Utilization Review, Workers' Compensation, Opioids
    On March 29, 2018 Arizona Governor Ducey signed into law Senate Bill 1111, to better control opioid utilization in the Arizona workers’ compensation system. SB 1111 applies prescribing restrictions for doctors who are providing opioid analgesic treatment specifically to injured workers. The Bill also enhances opioid reporting and requires doctors to provide the appropriate justification as to why opioids are necessary to treat a work-related injury.


  • FDA advisory committee recommends approval of lofexidine for opioid withdrawal symptoms

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    • Optum Workers' Comp
    | Apr 06, 2018
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    Workers' Compensation, Opioids, FDA
    An advisory committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted to approve a non-opioid, lofexidine hydrochloride, to alleviate the symptoms of abrupt opioid withdrawal. Lofexidine, an alpha-2 adrenergic agonist that works by reducing the release of norepinephrine, is similar to clonidine, which has been used off-label for the management of opioid withdrawal symptoms. According to this report, lofexidine has been found to be safe and effective in reducing symptoms of nausea, vomiting, anxiety, diarrhea and the overall feeling of sickness during withdrawal. Lofexidine has been marketed in the United Kingdom (UK) as BritLofex since 1992 to relieve symptoms in patients undergoing opioid detoxification.


  • Kentucky workers’ compensation drug formulary bill signed

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    • Optum Workers' Comp
    | Apr 04, 2018
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    Workers' Compensation, Opioids, Formularies, Chronic Pain
    Kentucky House Bill 2, workers’ compensation reform legislation, was recently signed into law. The new law addresses several areas – including requiring the adoption of a drug formulary and additional medical treatment guidelines addressing chronic pain management and opioid use.


  • West Virginia enacts opioid prescribing restrictions

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    • Optum Workers' Comp
    | Apr 03, 2018
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    Workers' Compensation, Opioids
    On March 27, West Virginia’s governor signed into law Senate Bill 273, comprehensive legislation addressing opioid prescribing and related treatment. The most notable provisions in this bill establish opioid prescribing limits and prescriber requirements for initial, subsequent and ongoing treatment.


  • Indiana Workers’ Compensation Drug Formulary Bill Signed

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    • Optum Workers' Comp
    | Mar 28, 2018
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    Workers' Compensation, formulary, Formularies
    Indiana Senate Bill 369 was recently signed into law. This new law requires implementation of a workers’ compensation drug formulary based on the Official Disability Guidelines (ODG) Workers' Compensation Drug Formulary Appendix A, effective initially January 1, 2019.


  • Florida Enacts Opioid Prescribing Restrictions

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    • Optum Workers' Comp
    | Mar 22, 2018
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    Workers' Compensation, Opioids
    On March 19 the Florida Governor signed into law, legislation containing numerous provisions aimed at curbing and controlling the opioid crisis in Florida. This legislation, House Bill 21, includes several provisions called for, and supported by the Governor since efforts to address opioids failed in 2017, and is seen as a first step for Florida against the opioid scourge.


  • Safety concerns regarding sterile compounded products from Cantrell Drug Company

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    • Optum Workers' Comp
    | Mar 14, 2018
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    Workers' Compensation, recall, FDA, Compounded Medications
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to health care professionals and is urging consumers to stop using sterile products, including opioid products and other medications intended for sterile injection, produced by Cantrell Drug Company in Little Rock, Arkansas. According to the FDA, they are “concerned about serious deficiencies in Cantrell’s compounding operations, including its processes to ensure quality and sterility assurance that put patient safety at risk.” If compounded injectable products are not sterile and are prepared in non-sterile environments, administering the medications to patients can result in serious, possibly life-threatening infections.



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